Setting Your Intentions for 2014 — Your PRES Top 10!

In your business there are many universal laws at work. One of them is the ‘Law of Intention’ which is based on the fact that…

there is always an infinite amount of energy and information
present to create whatever you want.

This law of intention works hand-in-hand with the Law of Attraction. One of the first things you need to do as a home staging entrepreneur is to decide WHAT YOU WANT your business to look like.

What might some of your intentions be this year? Take a look at this list for home staging entrepreneurs and feel what resonates with you. Use the following phrase in front of each one below and you will know whether or not it’s something you really ‘intend’ to do or not. If you don’t get a good feeling from it, decide if it is something you don’t need to do at this time or is there some resistance coming up around it that you might want to examine more closely?

I (insert your first name) intend to:

  1. Review my 2013 Revenue Streams to determine where my sales came from. Once I do this I can decide what areas I need to focus on more or let go. My main source of revenues is from (fill in the blank) and I plan on increasing this by x%.
  2. Put systems into place that allow my business to flow more easily and free up time for work I need to do. I intend to delegate where it makes sense to pay someone to do things I do not do well and/or no longer want to do because I make more money doing other work I love.
  3. Have more balance in my life – create time for family and friends – my business is part of a healthy life but not my whole life focus. Take good care of myself having ‘me time’ so that I feel refreshed and am happy and productive doing the work I love.
  4. Complete a 90 day marketing plan (click this link for my ‘Free’ Savvy Marketing Webinar) that I can easily follow so that my ‘sales funnel’ is never empty and I am always attracting more new clients. One of my key tactics will be to (fill in the blank – network more, do more social media, secure some speaking engagements, have more ‘get to know me’ meetings, etc).
  5. Create more strategic alliances this year so that others (my unpaid sales force) can refer me. I will focus on having excellent relations with my alliances so we can both cross promote.
  6. Follow up with past clients to build stronger relationships this year and let go of relationships that drain me energetically and financially. Use more stay-in-touch tactics that are more personal than just emails/blogs/posts.
  7. Revisit my ‘ideal client list’ so that I am totally clear on who my target audience is and how to market and attract them. With new clarity I can find more opportunities and inject some new interest in my work and do some out-of-the-box marketing.
  8. Continue taking professional development courses, reading books, attending trade shows and conferences that help me grow personally and professionally. (My new ‘Free Law of Attraction’ teleseminar is great!)
  9. Pick up the phone more and meet with more potential clients and clients in person – and limit the number of texts and emails I am a slave to. These actions will allow me to be more engaging and sustain longer term relationships.
  10. Determine when the time is right to hire a coach/mentor who can help me take my business to the next level.

If you do not set your intentions someone else will, so try and do this on a daily basis
and you will be absolutely amazed at the results. They will change your life.

Action Assignment

Go through the list above ‘Setting Your Intentions for 2014 – the PRES Top 10′ and see which ones resonate with you AND add/delete/change whichever intentions do not work for you. It’s your thoughts that lead to actions, that ultimately lead to results so the best place to start is by becoming aware of what you are thinking.

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Want to use this article in your next ezine or on your website? Please do! Here’s what you need to include:

Dana Smithers is founder and creative director of the PRES Staging Resource Centre, a company devoted to teaching entrepreneurial women how to start and run their home staging business. Through her workshops, courses, mentoring programs, and products, Dana shows her students how to live their dream of becoming a home stager whether part time or full time. She is committed to her students’ on-going success.

How to Make Your Client Testimonials or Case Studies Work for YOU!

Testimonials or case studies are called ‘social proof’ that promote you in your business. They are a great marketing tool to use in your website, in any marketing materials such as business card, post cards, flyers, You Tube videos and even your enewsletter.

When I was recently coaching a home stager I was surprised when she said she had never thought to ask the home seller for a testimonial. She did express some frustration with Realtors® who didn’t get back to her with their promised testimonial. A testimonial can be a few words or a few sentences that express how the client (home seller or realtor) felt about your work. They are writing it from their perception.

A case study contains more factual and sometimes statistical information such as how long the property was on the market, the obstacles to the sale, how much more the property sold for over asking and other pertinent data. You can write this up yourself based on what you know about the property, the sale, etc.

Here are a few tips that will help you get the testimonials you want.

TIPS on how to RECEIVE and USE great testimonials in your marketing materials to position you as an EXPERT:

  • As a home stager you want to ask for testimonials from both your home seller and your realtor
  • Once you have completed the work, send out an email request for a testimonial and you can even ‘suggest’ topics that you want them to write about – ask them to talk about their emotions (nervous, excited, etc) and how they felt when they saw the reveal (what impressed them the most)
  • Vary your testimonials so that your potential clients can read about all of the services/differences that you make in staging, redesign and/or decorating or whatever services you offer
  • Put their text in italics to distinguish it from other text and use “quotation marks”
  • You can always shorten a testimonial as long as you leave in the integrity of the comments by using three dots like this … and continuing on
  • Never wait longer than one week for a testimonial because it is most likely you will not get it – a gentle email reminder OR write it for them and ask them to approve it or edit if they want to
  • Typically in our business because of privacy issues we don’t put last names attached to any home photos – so I recommend just using a first name and the city they live in
  • Always thank them for their testimonial either by email or better still send them a card – ‘Send Out Cards’ are great for this or any appropriate card – we all get too many emails and they can keep your card
  • Ask for referrals once you receive their testimonials and remember to keep in touch with them on a regular basis

NB: If you don’t have a TESTIMONIAL REQUEST FORM just email me and I’ll send you one that we use at PRES.

These are some of the HOME STAGING COACHING TESTIMONIALS that I have received. You can see that each one says something different and is very authentic to that coaching client.

“I had been in the home staging and redesign business for about three years and hadn’t seen the growth I had anticipated. I decided to work with a business coach and I really wanted someone who understood my industry and had experience in the areas I lacked. I had read several of Dana’s comments on Linked-In and she always seemed very generous with her advice and resources. After our initial “Get To Know You” phone call I knew this was who I wanted to help me take my business to the next level. During our bi-monthly chats we set goals and she held me accountable for my own successes. Dana has guided me through our time together with inspiration, humour, friendship and compassion.”

Angela – Toronto ON

“I took the PRES Training 5 years ago and also kept my “day job” because I felt so unsure about whether or not I would be successful. My passion for redesign and staging has not wavered, and recently I decided to take the plunge and make a full time commitment to my redesign business and hired Dana as my coach. Dana’s coaching has really helped move forward in my business and break through some emotional blocks. Using her ‘Law of Attraction for Women’ technique I have gained clarity and direction for my business, as well as inspiration and confidence as an entrepreneur. I feel empowered and encouraged by the progress I am beginning to see. Dana coaching and guidance has been magic!”

Mary Ann – North Vancouver BC

“After 2 years in business without success I decided that I was ready to make a change and give my business my all. I said to myself I’m going to give it a year and if things don’t improve I’m calling it quits. I purchased Dana’s 10 Best Marketing Tips, hoping I would find new ways to market my business. I chose Dana has a coach because she is a home stager and thought she would be more helpful to me because of that. I am so glad I did! Dana has helped me so much! My confidence has greatly improved and having the ‘Goals List’ after each call has kept me on task and focused. Her coaching has lead me to making contact with an investor and realtor who are interested in working with me, which I am so excited about. I would definitely recommend Dana as a coach if you are a home stager who feels lost and doesn’t know what to do next, like I was.”

Debbie – Richmond VA

“I took the PRES Staging and Redesign course at the beginning of this year, excited and nervous about starting my own business. It was such a fun and informative course and got me so excited about getting started. I feel I came away with knowledge about the business, contact information and names of people in the industry who could help me put the pieces together and start my business off on the right foot. Dana was always supportive and gave me opportunities to help her and continue my learning even after the course was completed.

I decided to hire her as a business coach recently and by the end of our 6 phone meetings I had a better and more professional website, redesign jobs on the calendar, articles in newspapers and was comfortable participating in and understanding networking groups. I now have a business I LOVE to do every day and continue to feel inspired and supported by Dana.

Thank you for everything Dana! I’m sad to know that our calls have ended because I often think of things I want to chat with you about. I can hear you now saying “keep in touch I’m not going anywhere!” and I really appreciate that about you!”

Joanne – New Westminster BC

Here’s a few sweet, short words from Louise – Chilliwack BC

Thank you from the bottom of my HEART! Your PASSION and ENTHUSIASM to help home stagers & designers to SUCCEED is AMAZING!

Understanding What Your Client is Going Through is Critical to Your Success as Home Stager and Redesigner…

When I teach the 5 day PRES home staging and redesign course I take the students into real clients’ homes so they can apply the 10 Step Formula theory that they learn in the classroom. In this home we did a ‘redesign’ which is technically a one-day home makeover for living, using the client’s existing furnishings. It is all about capturing the client’s personal tastes and validating what they have in their home does work – it just doesn’t quite work the way they had things set up.

Our training home client’s roller coaster of emotions went from excitement, to hesitation, to despair, to jumping in with both feet, to excitement, to angst of ‘what if it looks like how they like it and not how we like it’ to – finally JOY at the final outcome!

Some TIPS on Conducting the Client Interview/Consultation:

  • As soon as you meet the client acknowledge something attractive about their personal home décor items
  • Ask to take a tour of their home so you can ask them about things – I like to use the expression ‘Tell me about this’ so that way I know whether or not they are emotionally tied to a particular item
  • Continue to reassure them that they have lots to work with and how much you are looking forward to creating a new look for them – this builds their need to know, like and trust you
  • Ease their ‘fear of change’ by letting them know you offer a ‘Redesigners Guarantee’ which is to live with the changes for 2 weeks and if you still don’t like them you will come back and change things (in over 10 years I have never been called back to change anything)
  • Gain their trust and confidence by letting them know that they can always bring something back in and rotate the things we didn’t use
  • Really listen in the consultation to what their answers are to your questions – probe more if you feel they are hesitating about something and acknowledge the pieces of furniture or art that they really get excited about
  • If they start to ‘tell you’ where things should be placed and what should be moved into a certain space or room, they may not be a good client for a redesign. Tell them the more ‘open’ they are with allowing you to make changes the better the end result will be
  • Never tell your client exactly what you will do but make generalizations such as ‘we can move some of the furniture so the room flows more, and rehang some of the art so it works better together, showcase your gorgeous collections, etc.
  • Throughout the entire interview/consultation you are being very positive with your comments regardless of what you are thinking in your head!
  • In redesign as in staging, you do not need to ‘love’ the look of your client’s home nor their personal belongings or style – your job is to give them the best that you can and know that it will be so much better than what they could ever do
  • Listen for this commonly heard statement when you do the reveal “How clever, I never would have thought of that” and celebrate your success!