Over the last year I’ve been actively looking for clients. First for my day job and now for my business. During this year I’ve learned a lot about how to go about this and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the subject. I made a video talking on the subject and you can find that here.
Below I will break down in a bit more detail what it is I said in the video with maybe some added notes I didn’t mention before.
FIRST, you must imagine your perfect client. What are you selling? Who is buying? Who is your perfect buyer? Ask yourself this question and see what you come up with. From there you will commence research using some of the tools below. Something to always keep in mind while conducting this research, is does that perfect client exist? Are you being realistic in who you hope to court? If this person you imagine doesn’t likely exist perhaps you need to adjust your mindset to those who do exist. Additionally if you find your perfect client does exist however they make up .0000000000000001% of the population of your market area, you might want to widen the net.
The first real prospecting technique I recommend is focusing entirely on people you already know. These people likely wont be customers, however they may know a few who could be. You see the most important thing to keep in mind for how you approach prospects is: Out of all possible strategies you have, which will likely yield the highest percent of in person meetings? I can tell you right now that getting an in person meeting is likely to be your best method of getting clients and customers. And out of all those strategies, a recommendation from a friend is likely to be your best way forward. Finally when I say people you know, I include even the slightest acquaintance that may remember you. Meet with them in which ever way is best for them, and don’t give them your sales pitch, tell them what you’re doing, and what you hope to achieve. Most importantly let them know you are trying to help people, that will make them very happy to pass on your info.
Second prospecting area is going to be geographically near you. Its much easier to get that in person interview when you don’t have to fly east coast to west coast. So how do you find who to talk to? I’ll tell you what I do and hopefully you can morph it to apply to you. When I first started looking for clients for my business I simply googled local business and really did my research. I dug in and found every potential business my services could apply to. From there I went to their websites to find the name of the owner. If I couldn’t find it that way I would search the business on the secretary of state website, there you should get a name. I would then sometimes use websites like white pages to try and find direct contact info for these individuals. If I couldn’t I would plan on calling the business during hours the owner might be there. However you go about getting in contact remember that your number one priority is getting an in person meeting, and under very few circumstances should you ever send your pitch over email, message, or even on the phone. Even if they ask for your pitch over the phone, give them a tease that excites them or makes them want to hear more, and push for the in person meeting. REMEMBER, that’s your best chance of getting a yes.
Once you have the in person meeting, of course you should make sure you’re prepared to let them know how you are helping them. They need to know very clearly the benefit you present, and if you don’t tell them it will always be a no.
The final prospecting area is non local. This Method is something I don’t have a ton of personal experience with, seeing as I have been focusing locally so far. But I can say this, without the ease of an in person meeting your chances of success are much lower. They need to be so excited and enthralled by what you have to offer that they are willing to approve of only doing business over Skype, or if you’re REALLY important they will fly you out. I highly recommend you look at yourself, your product, and your prospects very objectively before considering an over the internet business relationship, It’s certainly possible however the buyer needs to be very excited by what you have to offer to give up the trust that is built when being in front of one another.
Thank you for reading!