If you have a business, no matter its size, one of your most pressing questions is how to attract the right kind of client and keep him/her for the long term.
There is the tendency to hope for a “magic pill” solution – technology, strategy or contact – who once acquired – will solve the challenge going forward.
It just doesn’t work that way, as you all already know. “Client capture”, as we affectionately call it, is a constant, studied, and disciplined practice throughout the life of your business. But it can get smarter, and thus easier and more successful.
When identifying and approaching your potential clients, here are some things you can consider, to maximize your chances of a success:
1) Your potential client wants to make sure you are WORTH it.
The first person who has to know that what you have to offer is truly valuable is YOU. If you don’t believe it and OWN IT, they won’t.
So the question is, how do you convince them?
The first step is getting really clear on your competitive value in the market place as a business, no matter what you are offering. This means clearly identifying the benefits your company and service/product offers to the customer (not just the functionality) and knowing how to market it effectively.
The second is having the right social credibility – recommendations, referrals, evaluations, followers, awards and recognitions – and any other EVIDENCE of your value that can help them believe that you are a quality, established and proven service/product in your sector.
Even if you are just starting out, make your best effort in achieving fantastic results for your first customers and then ask them to vouch for you. Everyone, no matter how great, started out like this. Some with more help than others, but we all had to establish our worth in the marketplace.
Just make sure your credibility is real, trusted, relevant and continuous.
2) Your potential client wants to have the all-time “WOW experience” with your business and service/product.
It takes work to build up a great reputation, but just seconds to destroy it. And unfortunately, we have all had too many bad experiences with disappointing vendors, aggressive marketers, and all around empty promises.
What anyone of us really wants (and really think about your own perspective) is to have an EXCELLENT and FULFILLING experience with someone we choose to buy from, in any form. What this means for you, as a business owner or new entrepreneur, is thoroughly studying the preferences and experiences of your current and potential clients.
What do they expect? In what they receive and how they receive it. Where are the areas of the client service process where you, your organization or your competitors fail to meet those expectations or could do something innovative? What are their secret fears and desires?
The quick answer? They want you to take them by the hand, make it easy for them, and get the results they are expecting from you.
Make sure you can really deliver on what you promise.
Even better, deliver more than you promise. Anticipate their needs and be able to speak about them even at the initial sales process.
Listen – LISTEN FOR REAL – by asking more questions than you spend “selling yourself”. Because if you really take the time to ask the right questions, by the time it comes for you to make your proposal, it will sell itself.
3) Your potential client wants to feel SECURE that hiring you is a SAFE choice.
Trust is the #1 thing we lost in the recent economic crisis, apart from jobs, money and stability (just to name a few). What that means is that aside from expecting to be “Wowed”, your potential clients want to know that measures are in place to ensure that they made the right choice.
So how can you do that?
- With reasonable money back guarantees (30 days for example).
- Clearly outlined benefits of what they are to receive.
- Evidence that your service is tailored and/or “organic” to continue adjusting to their needs.
- High-quality client service to address any of their questions or problems during their experience with you and your product/service.
There is money in the world and people are willing to spend it. But they are more careful than before to do so. At the end of the day, no one wants another disappointment or mess to deal with.
The more you can convince them that the experience with YOU and YOUR BUSINESS will be a fulfilling one – and be able to deliver on it – the better your chances of growing your company.
And of course, if you would like some guidance in this process, don’t hesitate to contact us.