The Best Way to Approach New Clients
As a business owner you know the kinds of clients you want. Why not go one step further and make a list of actual companies you would like to have as clients.
Then, get clear about who it is you want to contact within each company. What position does the person hold? Is it the owner? Is it someone in HR? Is it the sales manager?
Once you have your list, ask people in your network if they know the person who holds the position in the companies you have identified. If so, ask if they would be willing to introduce you via e-mail or a phone call.
If you aren’t able to find someone who can introduce you, you can still approach companies without cold calling. Begin by finding out the names of the people you want to contact (Google or call).
Then send them valuable information you have created along with a personal letter. Be sure to send it in the mail (snail mail).
Your valuable give away can not be a brochure that is information all about your business and what you do. It is hugely important that you send content that is practical and informative for the person receiving it.
Think about things like: tips, trends, research, pitfalls to avoid, etc. It can be a few pages or many; the key is that it must be relevant and applicable to the person and their business.
In the letter you can say that you are sharing this information because you believe the person may find it valuable. Also state that you will call next week (you can include a date and time if you want) to find out if the person found what you sent is useful.
So when you call as promised, it’s not a cold call because the person has received valuable information from you (for free). This makes it a warm call. You simply want to find out if it was of interest for the person.
It is important that you have a marketing sequence in place so when a potential client is interested; you know what the next step will be. Is it a proposal? Is it a consult? Is it a scheduled phone call?
If there is interest, but not a need right now, there are still several opportunities. First, ask people if they would like you to check back with them in a certain time frame. If yes, put it in your calendar and do it.
Second, if you have a newsletter with valuable information, you can ask people if they’d like to receive it.
Third, if they are not interested but you feel a positive connection, you can ask if they know one (yes only one) person who may need what you are offering.
Why only one? Because if you ask people if they know ‘anyone’ they will draw a blank. But, if you ask for just one person, it’s much easier to think of someone.
Please remember to thank everyone who takes the time to talk with you or give you referrals. Yes, even the people who are not interested in what your business offers. One of the best ways to do this is to send a thank you note in the mail.
Are you starting to see how sharing valuable information and connecting with potential clients can be relaxed and rewarding? Create your give away, share it, and make a warm call to discover the possibilities.
© Stephanie Ward, 2008