This article was originally published on August 1st, 2008. And I still use a modified version of her 28 day plan on a monthly basis!
Some books are great because they make you look at things in a completely new way; others because they reinforce what you already think and do. Get Clients Now! is really powerful because it does both at the same time. I found myself nodding my head repeatedly as C.J. went though ideas and tools that I use already and that I recommend to my clients. At the same time, she was able to challenge some of my preconceived notions and bring some fresh air to my own marketing.
Get Clients Now! is essentially a marketing plan for small, service-oriented businesses. This is a demographic that is under-represented in marketing, because most marketers are focused either on large organizations or on moving products. As C.J. lays out her marketing plan, she also maps out a simple step-by-step program to help implement it. This focus on tools and activities is one of the book’s strongest assets. It is similar to the message I give to many of my clients. In many ways, Get Clients Now! is a great first-step in using coaching (in this case self-coaching) to build your business.
Ideas, Implications, and Questions
- C.J. stresses that marketing for a service business is “choosing a set of simple, effective things to do, and doing them consistently” (p. 1). The 28–day program she recommends is really well put together and simple to follow. It’s great because you can do anything for a finite period of time. What she doesn’t emphasize, but I think is also very important, is that 28 days is about the time needed to form a habit. In this way, you are reinforcing these new activities as baseline actions for the future.
- C.J. breaks down the marketing cycle into 4 steps and points out that most individuals will have a bottleneck at one of these steps. I realized, for example, that I could do more filling of my pipeline. Which step is is your biggest area of opportunity:
- Filling the pipeline
- Following up
- Getting Presentations
- Closing Sales
- I tell all my clients that they should focus on four different marketing avenues at most. There isn’t a right or wrong marketing avenue, but they should pick ones that work for their business-model and that they can stick to over time. If they have too many different ways they are marketing, their energy is diluted. I like that C.J. emphasizes the same idea and encourages the reader to pick a focused group of marketing activities. She even gives the reader a list to pick from.
- She also describes a phenomenon called the persistence effect that people experience when they start the program (p. 65). It’s when people start getting more success because they’ve put more energy and effort into their business, even if it’s not in a manner they would have expected. I’ve found the same experience happens to my clients when they start one-on-one coaching. I call it the clarity effect – because once you get clear about what results you want, the universe starts sending you what you are looking for.
- The marketing plan she walks through is very simple and very intuitive. You can find the handouts she uses at her website. I’m going to go through the 28–day program myself and use it as a way to become more disciplined with my own marketing efforts.
Should you read this book?
If you are a small business owner or salesperson who sells a service, this should go in your library. More than anything, her focus on repetition, on putting out the same message over and over, is a powerful one. I think spending at least 28 days going through a marketing program is a great investment of your time. I’ll let you know how it goes for me.