One of the biggest challenges in starting a business is finding new Clients. Putting yourself out there, open to rejection, over and over again. Here are some things to keep in mind that will (hopefully) ease the pressure.
Finding new Clients is challenging.
Where do you even begin?
And once you have identified companies or people with whom you want to work, how do you put your best foot forward to close the deal?
Here are six tips to keep in mind when canvassing for and pitching new business.
- Go through your contact list – Your most easily attained Clients are those who already know you. They are the people who are familiar with your work and who appreciate what you have accomplished in the past. They are the ones more likely to take a chance with you as they already have a relationship with you and know what you have to offer.
- Ask for referrals – When you are networking, remember to let everyone know that you are open to taking on new Clients. You never know who will call whom to ask if they know a great consultant/agent/salesperson/etc. And again, people who know your work are far more likely to recommend you to their contacts since they can be sure that you will make them look great!
- Read the trades – When you see a company that is doing exciting things, look on LinkedIn (or another social network) to see if you are connected. If you aren’t directly connected, see if you have any mutual contacts and ask for an introduction. Once you have the introduction, request a call to discuss their objectives and explore how you can help.
Once you have identified potential, new Clients, there are a few things to keep in mind when approaching them.
- Look for Clients who need what you have to sell – Trying to sell ice to Eskimos is pointless, but trying to sell ice to someone living in the Caribbean makes a whole lot more sense! When seeking out new Clients, it shouldn’t ever be about trying to sell what you have at all costs, but more about finding those potential Clients that already need what you have to offer.
- Believe in your product or service – When you call on someone, you must believe in what you are selling. If you don’t, it will be immediately apparent. Knowing that what you are offering is of superior value is critical to being confident when you are on a call or in a meeting. If you show any doubt, your target will feel it and s/he is likely to adopt the same feelings. If you don’t believe in yourself/your product, who will?
- Believe that you are benefiting the end user – Almost as important as believing in the superior quality of your product or service, is believing that the product or service will actually benefit the end user. If you have followed tip #4, you already know that the target Client has a need for what you are offering. It then follows that they will benefit from what you are selling. Go into the call or meeting with that mindset and you can’t lose!
If you have any other pointers you would like to share with regards to identifying and approaching new potential Clients, please do so in the Comments below…