Keeping your existing clients happy is a vital part of your business.  If you want to establish stability in your cashflow you need to maintain your repeat customers.

The best way to do this is to train your staff on the proper way to handle complaints.  Handling a complaint is very similar to the process that we use for handling objections.

Here is an acronym to help you and your staff remember the process:

-L is for
. Don't take offense or get emotional when a customer comes to you with a complaint.  Simply stay calm and listen with a smile.

-A is for
.  Tell them that you are sorry for the inconvenience.  A can also stand for ask a question.  Make sure you clarify the problem before you address it.

-S is for
Solve the Problem
.  Quickly offer a solution.  You should offer your customer something enticing right away.  Don't be cheap or proud, never try to convince your customer that they are in the wrong.  It is well worth a short term loss in exchange for a long term loyal, promoter customer.

-T is for
Thank Them
.  Thank your customer for bringing the problem to your attention.  By doing so this customer has highlighted an area in your business that may be turning countless others silently away.

Remember that a person that complains really wants to like, and help you.  They may actually think the world of your business and have built it up to their friends only to find it fall short in some way, thus causing some minor embarrassment.  They want to be able to brag about you, the process above will give them reason again.

This process may seem like common sense to you but you might be surprised at how many of your employees don't know this.

Every person on your team should be trained in sales and customer service, not just your sales team or receptionists.  Your customers will likely come into contact with other members of your team, a maid, cook, or handyman for example, and will expect the same level of service that your front end has provided them with.

Also don't hesitate to give even your lowest level employees the ability to give a discount.  Having to fight through two levels of managers to get a free meal, or even just an apology, can be a very traumatic ordeal for your customer.

In sales one of the first strategies people employ is to blanket their market with sales letters or e-mails in attempt to single out the most interested parties.
This is a fine idea, but it is incredibly important to make sure that your sales letter is exciting before you spend money to distribute it.  If the letter is boring, confusing or unappealing your campaign could cost you dearly.
Some sales letters really grab your attention.  Some go directly into the trash.  Below are 10 steps outlined by Alexi Neocleous that will make your offer too good to refuse.
Step One:  Be sure you have completed your market research.  You should know who your ideal client is and what problems you are helping them solve.
Step Two:  Go out and collect models to put in your own "swipe" file.  Keep sales letters that have caught your attention.  You should always copy successful models.
Step Three:  Create, or better yet copy, a great headline that stands on its own.  Magazine covers and news articles have great examples of enticing headlines.
Step Four:  Create, or swipe sub-headlines.  Be sure they too are in "caps."  These headlines should follow the initial "grabber" headline and draw your customer into the body of the letter.
Step Five:  Start with "Dear Friend" and then mention the market's massive problem or list your benefits.
Step Six:  Don't be afraid to add an extra "eye-catcher" or "grabber."  Use a bolded headline to break up a large body of text and keep your customers eyes moving.
Step Seven:  Get straight into the offer at this time.  What are you selling, what's the deal, how can you solve the problem?
Step Eight:  Address the offer so the prospect fully understands why you are sending the offer to them.  Be brutally honest and close the first page on a "cliff hanger."
Step Nine:  Make sure you have included headlines throughout with bold print, key points.  Let the key points pull the reader through the letter.
Step Ten:  Add a benefit's list.  Put the dollar signs in their eyes.  Articulate the benefits in a specific manner.  Then explain the reason why the benefit is good.  Testimonials are effective here as well.
"Don't forget that you are here to solve the client's problem.  This process is not about you.  It is about your client."  - Alexi Neocleous
Also remember to respect your customer.  Don't insult their intelligence by trying to be sneaky, just be honest and excited about the benefits of your product or service.
For an example of a very successful sales letter including expert analysis from Blair Singer and Alexi Neocleous please refer to our Automatic Lead Generator System Training Kit.
Often times in business and our personal lives we will look at our past decisions and blame ourselves for a choice that brought us undesirable results.

In some cases people even let these feelings balloon into a generalization.  You may think to yourself, "I'm an idiot for not knowing that," or "I never make the right choice, I must be stupid."

Ironically this attitude does make you less intelligent.  It's self-fulfilling prophecy, if the belief that you are going to fail stops you from even trying then you automatically fail.  Then you attribute the new failure to your inability to produce results and the process continues to drive you deeper into a downward spiral.

This is all a result of the hindsight bias (the inclination to see events that have occurred as more predictable than they in fact were before they took place.)

The key here is to not blame yourself.  You were not born all-knowing.  Failure is a process by which we learn.  Just chalk the blunder up to learning and resign yourself to be better in the future.

The following is an excerpt from Blair Singer's book "Little Voice" Mastery.  This is technique # 14 (of 21) that will help you in your fight against the hindsight bias.

How to Banish "Should've, Would've, Could've" Thinking and Regain Power

"When you're feeling that you've failed to accomplish something, and your little voice starts beating up on you, it's time to make another list.  This time, your list will include all the things your little voice says you should have done, could have done, or would have done.

For example, your list might read, "I could have gone to the gym," "I should have called my mother," or "I would have made more sales had I made more calls."  List everything you can think of.  Just be as whiny as you can possibly be.

Then read them carefully, over and over again, considering each one.  If you have to, add to the list until you get them all out.  Interestingly enough, at some point you'll find them humorous, you'll laugh, your energy will lift, and your guilt will erode as you're able to let each of them go.  This magical little tool sort of cleans up and corrects that little voice in your brain.

The cool thing about this technique - and actually, the rest of them too - is that if you repeat the techniques, they become automatic.  You may not even need to write them down, because if you've practiced them enough, your brain stops making those justifications.

As for that pesky guilt, you can try this, although I'll warn you, it's a tough one.  When you get to feeling guilty about a failed accomplishment, assume a push-up position on the floor and hold it for as long as you insist on feeling guilty.  Stay there until you let go of that guilt, even if your arms are quivering and the sweat is rolling down your forehead.  It's not so easy, is it?

Maybe next time you'll ease up on yourself."

For more on this subject and the remaining 20 techniques to winning the war between your ears please refer to Singer's book, "Little Voice" Mastery.

If you want to be successful in business you have to have a plan (or map.)  Consider a scenario where two men are dropped (separately) into the wilderness and told that there is a town thirty miles West of them.

 Now imagine that one has a map and the other has nothing.  Who do you think will reach the town first?  The man with the map of course.  Why is that?

 The man without the map could easily determine West by the setting sun, but without landmarks to guide him he could easily miss his goal or he might struggle with self-doubt as the time passes without reference to the distance he's traveled.

 If you are just plodding along (Westward bound) on a day to day basis in your business, how can you ever expect to find your destination?  Do you even have a destination?

 In business the best way to make your map is to first locate your destination.  Then consult a person that has already traveled your path and let them give you landmarks to achieve.  This is the process by which a SalesPartners Mentor operates.

 If you want to be successful in business all you have to do is master 10 areas of your business/life.  Below are four of the ten major areas on which you should focus your energies and a rhetorical question to get you moving in the right direction.

 These questions will help you to locate your landmarks on the path to success.

 1.  Sales - What sales targets and incentives do you have in place to ensure that you blast through your business goals for 2011?

 2.  Marketing - What are the top 3 strategies that you are going to employ in 2011 in order to crush your opposition?

 3.  Customer Service - What is your plan to identify the key characteristics of your ideal customer and then adjust your marketing to be a magnet for more of them?

 4.  Team Culture - What is your plan to make sure that your team is loyal and aggressive in achieving their goals?

 For questions for the remaining ten areas (Productivity, Leadership, Strategic Planning, Financial Operations, Bottom Line and Personal) please contact your local SalesPartner

 If you feel like you are on the right path but you are struggling with self-doubt we recommend that you read Blair Singer's book,

"Little Voice" Mastery.

 Or if you are feeling lost in your business on a day to day basis and had trouble answering any of the questions above we recommend that you contact your local SalesPartner and set up a complimentary mentoring session ASAP.  These mentors are trained professionals and expert "map-makers" for small and large businesses alike.