Think about it… we all want more clients. It doesn’t matter if you are a coach or consultant, finding new clients is often an all-consuming part of what we do. Clients are the lifeblood of our businesses… and without them… well, we’re out of business.
But, unlike a shoe store or restaurant where customers can simply walk in, it’s not so easy for us. Getting new clients takes time, energy and effort. To build a steady stream of new clients, we have to invest time in building up our businesses. But time is not always on our side. Sometimes, we need revenue now… not six months from now.
You are probably doing a lot on this front already, but here are three time-sensitive ideas that you may not have put into practice yet…
Hold a Power Breakfast
If you have been following me for any length of time, workshops are a powerful way to promote yourself, but if your next presentation is three months from now, that doesn’t you help get clients this week. So… why not host a “Power Breakfast” this month? I’ve done this more than once with great results!
Book an early morning hotel meeting room (or at your bank’s or CPA’s office conference room so they can invite some of their contacts as well). Breakfast is an easier time to get people to attend and a continental style set up is usually just fine.
Once potential attendees are at work, it’s harder for them to get away mid-day or for lunch. And forget about anything related to or after the cocktail hour… in my experience, you’ll lose them after the first drink! Trust me… I’ve been there.
Invite acquaintances, clients, former clients, and referral sources. Send them two free “tickets” each and invite them to bring a guest. Have an assistant follow-up for RSVPs. I like to line up at least 15 attendees, so it looks better if you have some no-shows. Have “networking” for the first 20 minutes, then start your short talk once they are nearly done eating. Keep the whole event at about an hour.
Your objective in all this? To meet people and demonstrate that you are an authority who can help them. Three-quarters of the way through your presentation, make attendees a special offer that allows them to meet with you one-on-one where you provide them with a chance to talk about their specific situation, but not a “free session” where you give away your services for nothing. (More on this in a future post.)
Follow up with “Lost Clients”
When I say lost clients, I’m referring to prospects you may have spoken with or sent a proposal to in the past but didn’t win the business. Send them a follow-up email asking how their project is coming along, and if there is anything you can do for them.
This tactic is about being helpful and showing you care about the client. This can lead to a new conversation about hiring you, especially if they are unhappy with their previous coach or consultant. If not, you’re still putting yourself on their radar screen and might see some assignment coming your way.
Simply pick up the phone and say something like…
“Mr./Ms. _______, we spoke a while back about you wanting to achieve (outcome). This is (your name). I just wanted to know how you’ve been getting on since then and if there’s anything I can help you with…” The wait for the other person to respond.
It may be that the prospect has not yet solved their problem yet, and maybe realizes that they need the help of someone like you more than ever! Ask what they are struggling with and if you think you can help, offer to schedule a meeting at the end of the call.
The thing is… pick up the phone!
Partner with Non-Competing Firms
Consider partnering with a non-competing company to offer your services as an extension of their business. For example, a branding/design consultant might partner with a web development company that has no design or creative expertise. The branding/design consultant could provide creative direction for some of the web developers projects, while they focus on the behind-the-scenes code. It makes them look good when they provide a more complete solution for their client.
In exchange, the branding/design consultant might sometimes have projects that need web development beyond their skill-set and could use as the web development partner as a resource. It can be a win-win partnership for both companies.
Who do you know that you could call today? Contact them and pitch the idea.
I want to encourage you to choose at least one of these three strategies and come up with a plan to implement it right away… your new clients await!