Getting clients is easy, hard, fun, frustrating, energizing and enervating. Most of all, you never know what to expect — one day no one is saying yes and the next, you close five clients. Here are my ten top strategies I use every day to make clients knock on my door:
1. Communicate effectively with your potential client base.
You need a killer web site — not just one that sits there. It must actively reach out and grab prospects. So it will take a lot of work, but you'll see results immediately. In addition, design great business cards, brochures (sometimes), and a powerful 30-second talk about what you do.
2. Work with people smarter than yourself.
This has two angles:
- If you don't know how to execute something critical for your business, hire someone. I know it will cost money, but most people think they can do it themselves. Result: it takes forever to build/implement, it's wrong, and then they ultimately hire someone to clean up the mess.
- Get clients who add to your knowledge base — help them in one area, but be a knowledge vampire and suck out key strategies, tips, and avenues you will embed into your company.
3. Develop a networking relationship with your competitors.
I actively court coaches, while most of my counterparts are wary and shun theirs. Not only is it a 'good' thing to do (embrace everyone), but you find the differences between your vocations and allows you to give referrals to one another.
4. Create packages to meet your client’s needs.
The first time out of the gate, you usually have to guess what your clients requires — so you need to remain flexible and change your offerings slowly. Initially, I used to coach for an hour, but found the extra 15 minutes turned into a coffee klatch, so I shortened my sessions to 45 minutes. It's perfect — and if I really need extra time for an extra-special client, I have it.
5. Do pro-bono work for charitable organizations.
The bigger, the better. Not only does it position you in a wonderful light, it throws you into a mix of influencers who truly appreciate your skills. The more visibility you have, the more people know about you. In addition, always take on a number of pro-bono clients each month — it's just the right thing to do.
6. Write an eBook for your target market — and give it away.
You need to harness the knowledge/experience in your brain and spread it out into the marketplace. Most businesspeople tend to hoard it like a miser — successful people freely expose it to the world and clients come banging at their door. It doesn't have to be long — just put a few powerful ideas in a short article, give it a snappy title, and offer it for free on your site. Also, have copies made and hand it to anyone who breathes.
7. Set Up “Power Meetings”.
Master the act of networking with the right people. Most men and women tend to meet with anyone — you'll quickly find out there are many 'time-wasters' who might be fun initially, but in the end, suck valuable money from your pockets (time is money). You know who your target market is (if you don't, call me) — chase and connect with them.
8. Work at least two hours a day to get clients.
"Rich are you crazy?" No, I'm not. You should be meeting, setting up lunches, expanding your website, talking on the phone and a myriad of other strategies to get clients. My motto — if business is good, slowly power down your marketing. If business is bad, rocket up your marketing. But always find at least two hours a day to keep your client pipeline full and healthy.
9. Master the cold call approach.
Face it — ultimately you will need to reach out to strangers to get the business you want. Don't procrastinate and never do it — learn how to reach out to key targets, entice them, and get in front of them. If you do your homework, for every strikeout you will hit a home run (and sometimes a grand slam), trust me.
10. MCA - take massive action.
MCA stands for Massive Client Acquisition — the state of mind where you need to target, hunt, and capture large swaths of your client base. Take the necessary steps to grow your clientele — get out and network, reach out via a killer website, thrill people with your abilities, give away your intellectual capital, wear huge holes in your shoes, and lose your voice from all the talking you will do.
Bottom line: Think like a salesperson — you need to get up every day and get your butt out the door. Stop putting distance between you and your prospects — close the gap and you'll have to begin turning them away.
What else do you do to get clients? If you've tried any of these tools, how did they work?