The art of getting new business is no mystery. In fact it’s so simple we miss the forest for the trees. Here are 10 tips to remind you how to build more client base.
1. Get New Business From Old. Ask existing clients for more biz before you try warming up a stone cold lead. Ask the happy clients for referrals to people they know that you don’t – and be sure to keep track of who referred whom.
2. Pitch a Stranger. It’s like bad advertising when you blow hot air when pitching to a new prospect. In face-to-face mediating you’ve got to know what to say, and say it with conviction.
3. Give It To Me Straight. No one has time for the “warm-up”. Prepare well honed phrases and practice them in front of a mirror. People like it when you can get to the point rapidly and intelligently. If it’s by email, make sure they don’t have to scroll down to read it all.
4. Talk About Your Failures. Seriously! It builds credibility. Everyone can’t be perfect all the time, and when you can tell a prospect why you lost a client and what you’ve learned it’s a welcome change. They appreciate not getting the usual hot air & razzle-dazzle.
5. Offer a “Loss-Leader”. People are less and less apt to buy impulsively from a person if they don’t have a good feeling about them. Offering a loss-leader allows the relationship to mature over time. This is very important in B2B clients. (Loss-leader is the practice of offering a product or service at a considerable discount and loss of profit to attract future business.)
6. Get Sold Yourself. Pick the most successful competitors in your area and let them sell you. Play customer and be aware of how you feel during each step, and see why their approach works so well. Auto-makers buy each others cars and break them down to nuts and bolts. You can do the same thing in your space.
7. Pitch an Enemy. Find the most disagreeable son of a gun you can find and pitch him or her. Let them be as nasty as they please, then analyze later if anything they said had any merit. Be totally unemotional, and don’t defend anything. You’ll learn where you’re lacking after doing this.
8. Start an E-mail Newsletter. This is much like #5. Give them useful information week in and week out, or month in and month out. Make them happy to see your name in the “from” field. If they only hear from you when you want something, they’ll turn you off when they hear from you.
9. Offer Testimonials. Satisfied clients or customers can say things about you that you can never believable say about yourself. Use the person’s full name if possible when doing this. “KM from Buffalo” isn’t nearly as strong as “Kenneth Moore from Buffalo”.
10. Ask Questions. I can’t emphasize enough how important and how underused this tip is in business. Simply allowing people to verbalize their needs makes them happy and tells them you listen. It also allows you to hone in on the points to make when it’s your turn to talk.
It’s strange, but we become so busy doing business that we have a tendency to overlook what’s in front of our noses. Most of the tips listed, would come about if we ever had the time to visit with our customers while doing business.