10 Ideas for Getting Clients Organically
While the old adage, “You must spend money to make money”, is generally true, there are some marketing methods that you can use to get clients organically. Read through the list below and select a couple that resonate with you. Then, before you do anything else, take a moment to schedule it on your calendar.
This is the easiest place to begin when you have a new service, product or renewal opportunity. These people already know, like and trust you and they’ve done business with you before. They likely know ideal clients to refer to you BUT you must ask.
Prospects are people who’ve shown some interest in working with you. They are already qualified but, for some reason, they didn’t move forward with you (not the right timing, etc.). These are wonderful people to contact if you have a new service, product or even a new approach. Even if they decided to go with your competition or go it alone, they may not be pleased with their results and could be looking for an alternative.
On the other hand, suspects are people you think might be interested and could benefit from your products or services. There is also your Friends and Fans lists, neighbors, acquaintances, past colleagues. Reach out to find out what they are up to and how you can add value. Be clear and specific about who you help and what problems you solve so that you can become top of mind for a referral. You must overtly open the opportunity.
Most people from networking groups are NOT your ideal clients; however, they may know others who are. Networking has been around for a long time because it is effective when it is done the right way.
Make a list of who would be good connectors for you. Ask what they’re up to. See how you can give them value—perhaps offer to help them with a project they’re working on. Get to know them. Don’t expect something in return...just deliver great value. With the law of reciprocity in effect you’d be surprised what comes your way. Especially when you don’t have attachment for getting something in return. Do not think Me-Me-Me! Focus on them. Focus on giving.
If you don’t have an email list or database, consider compiling one. This is where you can deliver value on an ongoing basis to people who’ve chosen to follow you. Go through your list and identify a few people whom you haven’t reached out to in a while. Make an offer for them to take the next step with you. This may be a phone conversation. See how you can deliver value and show them what you have.
Take a look at your Facebook fans and LinkedIn connections. Who can you reach out to? What other groups can you find within other social media platforms, forums, Google+ Circles (are these still a thing?) and Meetups that are discussing topics that relate to the products or services you offer? Comment on related posts and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Be sure to include the link to your website in your signature.
Think of where your ideal clients spend time already. What are their interests? If your target clients are dentists, then attend their trade shows. Make a commitment to make one or two true connections. Offer value, rather than just pass your business card out (trust me, they’ll end up in the garbage). You need to give value and demonstrate how you can help them by solving an immediate problem they may have.
Read your ideal clients’ trade articles or magazines so you can get into their head and understand their language, know what they are thinking or where you might find them.
When I was working in Corporate America I had several consultants, agents, bankers and lawyers who referred their clients to our team. Who do you know caters to the SAME clients you do who offers a complimentary service? I have a client who owns a personal training studio. She has relationships with physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, athletic event promoters and nutritionists who refer business to her. Who could be a center of influence for you?
Take your list of complimentary service providers and professionals you know from above and invite each of them to a networking meeting lunch or dinner. Explain to them up front that the purpose of getting together is to share business strategies and build relationships with local business professionals with an eye for referring clients to each other.
Follow these steps:
This gives you a reason for people to connect with you that isn’t as intrusive as a 1:1 meeting. Be sure to add value and solve an immediate problem for your guests. Identify a bigger problem and provide the solution as your next step. Note that most often people don’t attend these because they fear being pressured to purchase something. Remove that fear in your invite by identifying what benefit they will get by attending. What immediate problem can you solve for them?
You can get physical tickets printed that are inexpensive but great to hand out to people. They hold a higher perceived value than a verbal invitation and people are more likely to pass on to others.
In a world of virtual communication, people think that direct mail is dead. It isn’t. In fact it can be very effective when done consistently in the right way. It can be expensive; however, I’ll show you how to get it done for FREE:
Then guess what? You get to be the 11th company for putting it all together and that means you mail for FREE.
Take from above what works for you and discard the rest. There isn’t a one size fits all model in business. It’s all about finding out the best way you connect with others. Use your gifts and talents to maximize the client acquisition process.
Tell me, which method is your favorite?
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