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All the Clients You Need?

Or, Some Basic Reminders of How to Attract More Customers.

Deanna Mims, Owner

MarketDone

 

If marketing your products or services were particularly easy, you would have all of your early-earned clients say wonderful things about you to many, and those many would be your perfect model of a pre-qualified, grateful and cooperative client and would flock to you, check in hand and smiles on their faces.

If this IS how your business is running, my number is 425.5240 and I want to talk to you!

However most small businesses and even many mid-sized firms generally have more of a need for clients, and less of a steady stream, and if you are not blessed with a budget that allows you to purchase tv and radio spots, billboards, magazine and newspaper ads, you will need to work a little differently to attract and acquire new customers.

Learning to generate new sales leads is an essential skill for every entrepreneur. And make no mistake – if you are in business, you are a marketer.  

 

Your Guiding Tenets:

 

  • Step #1: Understand - Your Target Audience

    Attracting more customers is really about listening to their needs, not being a solution looking for a problem," says Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls, a strategic-marketing consulting firm whose clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as early stage and emerging businesses.  "There are many existing problems out there that need to be solved that customers are willing to pay for today."

Step #2: Ask - for references, referrals, more work

  • Referrals are hugely important, especially in the relational town I live in, and pleasing your customer, developing a genuine relationship is job #1. The progression is then asking that client for a testimonial, for a referral and for additional work over the long term. You can try saying something like this: “Is there anything else that I can do for you, or do you know of anyone else who could use my services?”  If you’ve done a good job in the first case, you’ll be surprised at how this can increase the number of clients that you get.

Step #3: Tell - your story

  • Every business has a story - how they got started, what the offer, what their wow factor is, how they have changed circumstances for a client. All too often, businesses let their stories go untold. Don’t make this mistake. Make sure that your website and your promotional materials reflect your story. Also, when you are interacting with your network keep your story in mind. You don’t have to be overly aggressive about pushing your business, but at the same time your contacts should know what YOU and your business is really about. Often, this is just a matter of speaking up when people are discussing their jobs and describing your work as well.

Step #4: Attend to your reputation

  • Set up and maintain a system for follow up – take the time to gather all the contact information for each client you’ve worked for, and each new contact you meet.  Reach out to the new folks with 48 hours after meeting them. With clients, contact them with a satisfaction query immediately following the conclusion of your contract. Then, once every 6 weeks or so – at a minimum, with a “Hello, hope things are going well with your _____ project, checking in with you to see if I can be of any assistance” type of message. Keeping your name in front of your contacts can generate a more consistent stream of work for you.
  • Use a simple spreadsheet to track the sources that generated each and every client. Did they come from an advertisement? A referral? Some other source? Make sure that you know. If some part your marketing is successful, you need to know that so that you can repeat whatever it was that worked.
  • Your reputation is absolutely your most important asset.  Pay attention to what you do and say online and in person. Pay attention to what others are saying about you as well. Having a good reputation can make all the difference in the world when it comes to a client deciding whether you should get a gig with them. It’s important for prospective clients to know that you can be counted on to do a good job.

Specific Basic Action Steps for New Client Acquisition:

 

1.   Network, Network, Network! Be visible and active in your community, concerned with how you can MAKE a contribution and help raise everyone’s boat in this economy.

 

2.   Earned Media – write about what you know and the solutions for issues people have around the topic. Submit them to the appropriate media outlets and thru online distribution services. Become a thought expert – IF you truly know what you are doing and have something substantive to say.

 

3.  Social Media – it is astounding to me how many business people still don’t get the power and potential of FREE social media. Yes it requires a strategy and time to thoughtfully post – but you are gaining so much more than you are spending in terms of thought development, identity crafting and branding, community building, etc.

 

4. Collateral and Website – Are you still working to perfect your website? No longer satisfied with the last brochure or business card you had done? Don’t feel bad, a majority of the businesses I speak with – large and small – are in some stage of ‘revamping’ or updating their website. And that is as it should be – the more you learn, the more your business matures, the less satisfied you’ll be with your existing website and collateral. That’s a good thing and a sign of growth and mastery. However – at any given time, you should have a pretty darn good site and handout that has all the info it needs above the fold, a clear directive on what you do and who you are and what you are offering. Don’t make us have to figure it out.

www.marketdone.com