Getting in Front of Prospective Clients3 min read
Last week, I sent an email asking what your biggest issue was in attracting more of your ideal, high-end clients.
I wasn’t surprised to see that the issue mentioned most often was “Getting in front of qualified prospective clients.”
It’s true, if you could do that more consistently, you would convert more of them into paying clients.
I don’t know how many times I’ve written about this. A zillion, I think!
I wrote about it last week when I talked about one of my very first attempts to reach out to new clients back in the late 80’s.
My approach wasn’t rocket science: I mailed letters to fellow chamber of commerce members and followed up with phone calls.
I got a lot of meetings and converted many of those meetings into new clients.
The approaches that work include reaching out in various ways – by email to those in your network, by using LinkedIn, by following up after a talk or webinar, etc. None of these are very complicated or difficult.
But the chances are good that you are terrified of doing it and you avoid it like the plague.
You’re worried you won’t say the right thing
You’re concerned that you don’t have something they’ll be interested in
You’re afraid you’ll be rejected
You hate the thought that you’ll sound like a salesperson
And deep down you believe you’re not good enough
If you don’t get beyond these limiting thoughts and fears they’ll become self-fulfilling prophecies.
You need to be clear about your goals, be prepared, determined, and tenacious. If not, your efforts will go nowhere.
In my early days, I had all these fears and more. But I worked to get past them.
I’d give a talk and collect business cards at the end. But I knew nothing would happen unless I followed up with everyone.
I finally got quite good at it. Ultimately about 25% of those I followed up with became new clients. My conversion rate is now about 70%.
Here was my step-by-step strategy (and it still is):
1. I reminded myself that my services had real value. After all, I had helped many clients in the past and they had gotten results.
It’s not that I “built myself up.” It’s that I told the truth about my value and that helped me be more courageous.
2. I got very clear on my marketing message. That is, I not only knew what I was offering, I became very good at articulating it in a way that made sense to my prospective clients.
I didn’t stumble and fumble, I practiced my message out loud. I wrote it out. I rehearsed until I felt comfortable and confident.
3. I also worked hard on my telephone script. I knew exactly what to say when they answered the phone.
And I wrote out all the questions I would ask on the phone to learn about their situation, challenges, and goals.
I had a simple script I used to ask for the business: “My fee is $XX. Will that work for your budget right now?” Works like a charm!
4. Finally, I approached my follow-up methodically. I would organize all the business cards I collected into a binder and then made calls every single day.
And I kept at it until they said yes or they said no. I was unusually persistent. It was either that or failure.
I really didn’t know any magical secrets to turning prospective clients into paying clients.
I still don’t. This is pretty much the same approach I use now in filling my programs. It’s not magical but it still works.
If you are looking for some “magical marketing and selling scheme” I think you will be disappointed. That’s just avoidance. You’ve got to work at this until you gradually improve.
Read over those four steps of my strategy a few times. That’s what it takes.
The only question is, are you willing to do the work? I promise you that it’s worth it.