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Generating New Business

Q:I am a professional hypnotherapist based in the UK and have been in private practice for about the past 3 years. Only recently have I begun to take the business side of things seriously and I am now very keen to get to grips finding creative ways to generate new business. I have many ideas for generating new business but lack basic understanding on how to put these ideas into practice.

A:"What I recommend you do is determine what's your sales territory (a.k.a. pull range). What's its radius? Take out your customer list (or have a "win a free [whatever]" give-away for those putting their business cards in a fishbowl . or ask for their zip code when they make a purchase) and plot them out on a road map. Plot all of them. If they're from the same city/town, keep track of the number so you can get a distribution picture. To determine your radius, you'll need to make a judgment call on which of the far-out pins is within your sales territory and which should be discounted as oddities. Draw on the map the outer perimeter. Measure that line from your business' location. Double that and add a healthy 10% more distance then go and talk to people out that distance that are in the same business you're in. Literally drive there. Do not do the following over the phone or email or through snail mail. Show up on their doorstep during the slow time of their business day. Tell them that you run a similar business at such-and-such a location and ask if they consider you competition. If they say you are, drive further away from your proposed business location until you find a business that says you won't be. If you have to go to a different country, do so. Don't let state or national borders play any part in this decision process. I have a feeling that personal selling are going to be very important for your business. That means talking to as many people as you can, both over the phone and in person. I think that one perception you may have to overcome is that hypnotherapy does not really work. You are also going to have to convince hard-nosed business people and administrators that your services can help them solve specific business problems. Perhaps there are specific, verifiable success stories you write-up that talk about what you have done for others and what problems it solved. The more concrete the better. It can be organizational or even about an individual. I already have a website, and used to be a web designer before becoming a therapist. I spent a while setting up tonnes of reciprocal links with other hypnotherapists and this has ensured I get the top link on google for hypnotherapists in my area. This has increased business a bit. I really feel I need to become something of a salesman / marketing man / PR man to really succeed in this business. I am working with the assumption that there's more people out there who would love to undergo hypnotherapy to resolve their issues, and that my main aim should be to make myself known to these people.

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