In another post, I wrote about how to manage clients, but first, you have to get them. Here I will share some tips and techniques that you can use to source your own clients. Having an effective client strategy will be essential for you to find, pitch, and retain business.
An effective client strategy means that you develop a plan to understand your customer, clarify their needs, understand their business and deliver work effectively. Demonstrating value is essential and showing that you can solve whatever problem your customer is experiencing is the key to attracting business.
Your client strategy can have as many or as few steps as you like depending on the size and complexity of your business.
Whatever the size and scope of your company, I recommend including the following steps in your client strategy.
Develop a client profile as part of your client strategy
It’s hard to pitch or sell if you don’t have a clear idea of who you are selling to. For your client strategy attempt to develop a clear picture of who your ideal client is. Is it 30 – 45-year-old mid-management, or 23 – 28-year-old Instagram influencers? Whoever it is you need to build a profile of who they are, how old they are, the nature of their business, their income level, problems they may have and potential solutions to those problems.
A client profile is also known as a buyer persona and can be compiled from information available on the web. This provides demographic and other statistical facts. Once you have your ideal client outline you can understand the ways that your product or service can benefit them.
A straightforward profile may look something like this and can be used to record important information as part of your client strategy:
Customers are the lifeblood of your business and should be viewed as an asset. Like all assets, and with a good client strategy, they can be grown and developed over time.
Having a client profile is key to understanding your target customers and how your business integrates with their needs. Using this in your client strategy will help you to increase relevance, assist with targeted ideas, and improve customer experience.
Find out where your clients are
This may seem simple enough but it’s more complex than it first sounds. A component of your client strategy is finding out WHERE the people are that you need to pitch to. It is a vital component of obtaining new business. You need to know if your ideal client is accessible primarily on or offline.
Are you able to reach out and connect with people remotely via Facebook groups or other online methods, or do you need to go and hang out at conferences or other physical locations?
Once you know where your ideal customer lives and breathes you can create messages or sales pitches for them as part of your client strategy. Knowing in which format you need to do this is an essential part of marketing your business successfully, reaching the right people and building a strategy that attracts clients.
Know your business at a granular level
Part of effective client strategy is to position yourself as an expert. So BE one! You should know everything there is to know about your company, services that you provided, areas where you excel and a total understanding of your industry.
Knowing the details about your product or service will give you a deeper understanding of how it fits in with your clients requirements. When you have this level of knowledge it shows, potential clients will recognize you as a person that has the answers and come to you for help.
Good client strategy is knowing your UVP
If you haven’t heard of it before UVP stands for Unique Value Proposition. This is the linchpin of your business and client strategy. It is the one thing that you can provide or supply that no other company can. It is what makes your business unique, special, and gives a value to the client that they are unable to obtain elsewhere.
Sometimes known as a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) describes how you can solve a problem and add value to your clients. It demonstrates the reasons they should choose you over the competition and the benefits they can expect.
UVPs need to be short and to the point. They should be catchy but at the same time convey your company’s message to the client. Here are some examples of well-known companies UVPs.
Be the solution
Any potential customer is coming to you because they have a problem to solve. Now you know your business inside and out you should easily be able to show how you can assist with the issues they are tackling. This is where you can show how you can provide real value to clients and give them a good reason to try your product or service.
Knowing what their problems are in minute detail and being able to show an understanding of them gives you a huge advantage over the competition. If you can persuade your client to come onboard you have the chance to convert them into a lifelong customer. Demonstrating how you can use your abilities to address their issues gives you a leading edge.
Create a sales funnel as a client lead strategy
A great way to attract new business is to offer something for free. This encourages potential clients to take the first step and gets them into your sales funnel. From there you can demonstrate your knowledge of their business, and communicate your understanding of their problems and pain points.
Design compelling messages to show you potential clients how you can soothe their pain and make it go away faster or cheaper. This encourages future customers to reach out to you, or opt in to your email list, or agree to receive marketing messages.
Whatever communication method you use it should result in the client taking a specific step – like asking for more information. This diagram highlights the stages of a sales funnel.
Follow up, follow up, and follow up again
Rome was not built in a day and the same is true for building a pipeline of potential clients. Gaining new customers is a process of connecting, communicating, building a rapport and closing the deal.
Sometimes the process can take hours, sometimes years, but following up can be the difference between winning the business and losing it.
It is a known fact that many leads dry up and business lost due to the lack of follow up. How many times have you been interested in a product or service, sent an email, and received no response? A few right? And I bet you didn’t buy that product!
So set reminders, calendar alerts or whatever you have to do to keep ahead of your lead follow up and communication with clients, both potential and existing. A good follow up will build trust and could also lead to future business and referrals.
Using these tactics for your client strategy will assist you in creating a plan for your customer acquisition. These basic steps will help with an outline and you can add additional stages as needed.
Using a client strategy will give you a roadmap for sourcing, pitching, and closing business with more success and will enable you to convert more potential customers into actual clients.