Acquiring clients is job #1 for any small business. And, with so many strategies available both online and offline, the real challenge is knowing where to start. Here are 6 steps to help you develop the steady volume of clients you want.
1. Allocate time each week for client acquisition. As much as we would like to believe "if we build it, they will come", that rarely occurs. We simply must spend a portion of our time marketing our business. Time spent attaining clients is what Michael Gerber, author of the E-myth, refers to as "working on rather than in" your business.
2. Create your client acquisition goals and plan. Yogi Berra said, "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” Enough said!
3. Select your favorite client acquisition channel. Not all lead generation channels are created equal. Be choosy! Find a method of acquiring clients that is a match for you and how you like to work. You'll be more motivated to follow through.
4. Fill your pipeline. Every business experiences a natural turnover of clients
. Clients move on for a variety of reasons. Be sure to factor client turnover rate into your goals.
Don't stop when you reach your initial goal. Once you have built your new client momentum, it's much easier to keep your pipeline filled than it is to rebuild your momentum every time you need clients.
5. Let your former/current clients know the full scope of your services. In all likelihood, those with whom you've done business for years may not realize new or changing services in your business. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. (Click to Tweet) The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% (Marketing Metrics). Don't ignore former or current clients.
6. Provide consistent, outstanding customer service. We've all experienced the frustration of being caught in "customer service purgatory". In fact, 71% of consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service. (Click to Tweet) Globally, the average value of a lost customer is $243 (KISSmetrics). Not to be confused with people pleasing, customer service is making a comeback. Ask Amazon or Zappos about the value of customer service on client acquisition and retention.
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