Create value and the clients will find you.
That’s the ideal and where we want to be over the long-term.
The reality is this – getting there can take some time, and even when they come to us, they often aren't the clients we are looking for.
In the mean time, building a minimum viable client base is essential if you're in the early days of establishing your business.
“Let me Google that for you.”
Not a great idea in this case.
There are a thousand and one ways to find clients and 297 million Google search results to sift through.
Enter this rabbit hole at your peril.
In around six hours you will be convinced you need *enter latest fad, craze or buzzword*.
The water is warm
Instead of researching, strategising and paying for advice, start by diving in.
'Act' in both senses of the word. Take action, and act as if you know what you are doing.
When we do this, magical things can happen.
Magical Thing #1: We start to learn. Not in theory but in practice. Only when we experience something do we truly understand it.
Magical Thing #2: Lots of things won’t work, but some things will. That’s forward progress.
Simple is effective
Here’s the process I followed when I launched my first company.
It worked from day one and continues to work today almost five-years later.
Step 1: Identify a potential client. Easily done online using publicly available information. You can probably find a name, phone number and email.
Step 2: Contact the potential client. Call or email the individual to make an introduction and briefly explain how you think you can help them.
Step 3: Ask for a meeting. The purpose of the initial contact is simply to arrange a 30 to 60-minute meeting over a coffee. It’s not a sales call.
Step 4: The adventure begins. Anyone who accepts the meeting has just opened a door. Attend the meeting and walk through it!
Think Doctor Pepper
What’s the worst that could happen?
Most people will politely decline your offer to meet up.
Some will accept and become clients.
At no point during the introduction or the subsequent meetings are you selling anything.
The objective is to have a conversation to find out if another person has problems you can help fix.
It works both ways, both sides benefit.
Rules of engagement
This approach will fail if:
- You focus on selling something
- You buy or scrape contact details
- You email people en mass
- You don’t offer to help
- You don’t meet up in person
- You expect it to work overnight
This approach will succeed if:
- Your offer is genuine
- Your communication is authentic
- You ‘offer’ before you ‘ask’
- You listen to the prospective client
- You treat it as a daily habit
With a mindset of believing it is your duty to help other business owners to the best of your ability, the commonly held perception of 'selling' is transformed into something exciting, engaging and of limitless potential.