How do you never run out of potential clients?
Focus your marketing, not to be all things to all people but zero in on your best clients. Get to know where they network [hang out] or communicate because they are spending their time networking and talking with people based on what they do for a career, sport, hobbies or other interests; they are in touch with your ideal client! Getting to know that is a critical piece of the marketing puzzle. You must get focused. By getting focused, you can start to become part of their network, and it becomes easier for them to talk about you and you can start to get into the right networks and potentially meet more of your ideal client.
Networking whether online or not, remains one of the most efficient ways to market your business.
How to find the best networks
People don't want to work with someone who is all things to all people anymore. People prefer to pay for specialists. Why? Because you understand them better, have far better solutions for them, and you know their situation -‐ you save them time. Clients feel as though you have their best interest at heart, have their back and can work comfortably together. You understand the solutions they need for their lifestyle, situation or industry and you can easily demonstrate it because you have a long list of other clients, just like them.
The way forward
Take a look at your clients, understand that you may have all kinds of people and markets and there is nothing wrong with that because that is probably how you built the business in the first place. However, if you want to gain more of the ideal clients and never run out of potential clients, I would suggest that you need to go in the direction that your ideal client has already gone.
Best practice businesses are micro-‐targeting, trying to reach clients based on a message that resonates with them that connects with them on a deep level. You can only achieve that when you know that client group intimately and focus marketing will help you achieve that.
So to find the network, I would encourage you to make a list of your top ten or 20 best clients. Then call them and ask them what organisations or associations they belong to and their sporting clubs etc., they may even be part of certain support groups, for example, professional women and so forth. If your client's children go to a private school, for instance, that could be an ideal place to find similar clients. You may have a client who is a chiropractor, and they are part of the chiropractic association -‐ this might be an ideal association for you to research and see how you can submit relevant content. I'm not suggesting that you target every organisation, but by doing this research, you will uncover associations/opportunities you might not have been aware of. You might have 1-3 associations/organisations to target and eventually narrow down to just one.
Then you can think about how can you approach these places, be part of their network and position the value of your advice. People are busy. We all know that people are busy, it's an epidemic! Potential clients don't have time to sit and do hours and hours of researching to find an adviser. They'll ask others and may look online in their local area, but if they see an adviser popping up in their networks, it helps facilitate their decision to choose you over either not doing anything and continuing to procrastinate or choosing someone else.
How to execute?
Research the association or organisation and learn about them. Do they have a regular publication? Hold regular meetings you could attend? Meet with the president or director of that association and become a member. Attend all of their meetings and get into their network and start to build professional relationships. See if you can join the committee.
If you are not visible, how can you talk to potential new clients?
I know some of you are thinking, but I'm too busy! If you want to grow a business, you have to get out of it!
Print out the names of 15 people you would like to meet from the association and then ask one of your clients who is part of that association which they may know or could introduce you to. You could frame the conversation by saying, "Brian, I have enjoyed working with you and would welcome the opportunity to work with others similar to you. I know, given your industry that you are part of the Chiropractic Association and I've done some research into them. Who do you think it would be worth me making contact with?
That client will automatically start thinking of who they know and will probably say that they can introduce you to a particular number of people. Ask your client, "If you were my adviser, what do you think is the best way for me to get in front of this person? Should I email them? Or invite them for a coffee? What would you do in my situation?"
Most times, your client will tell you the best way to get in front of those people. Your clients will be willing to help you because of the way you have positioned this. Make it easy for your ideal clients to introduce you to others. Take them some names! It's amazing how we can never remember names -‐ make it easy!
How to turn social chat into professional chat
If you are meeting people for the first time, it's likely you talk about your common interest, for example, at your kid's school concert or on the sporting sideline. You get to know the person on a personal, social level. The big question is, how do you turn that general chitchat into more of a professional conversation?
You say, "It's been great to get to you know you on a personal level, but I'd like to get to know you on a professional level; perhaps we can have a coffee next week? I'd like to learn a bit more about your business, tell you about mine, and you never know we might be able to help each other in the future. 20-‐minute coffee, somewhere near them. If you don't feel comfortable saying this, change it to suit your style! If you struggle with talking about what you do, this approach can work. Take away the obligation and people will be happy to catch up.
Written by Rachel Staggs, Marketing Director of SRSCC