The Ultimate Guide For Service Professionals To Get More Clients & Generate More New Business
I prepared this list to help self-employed service-providers (also known as service professionals) generate more business for their service businesses.
It is not a checklist of things that you must do in order to generate more new business.
It is a list of things you can do–new opportunities to generate more new business.
No one needs, let alone has the resources to effectively implement, all 26 approaches.
However, all service professionals will benefit from at least one, possibly more, of these suggestions.
My intention in offering these suggestions was to open the door to new opportunities to help self-employed professionals like you get more clients and generate more new business for your service business.
New clients represent the most obvious source of new business. That’s why I included reference to getting more clients in the title.
It’s also why 16 of the 26 approaches relate to getting new clients.
Once you have a core base of satisfied clients, you can expect new business to come in the form of repeat and referral business.
At least 10 of the 26 ways that follow will help you generate more repeat and referral business.
This repeat and referral business will generate the sustainable flow of new business necessary for long term growth and success.
Now…let’s get started: which of the following suggestions will help you generate more of the new business that you want and deserve?
Attract More Ideal Clients
Since it’s your choice as to who you want to serve, why not choose to serve ideal clients: the ones who are best for you.
When serving ideal clients, not only will you love what you are doing, you will get even better at doing it.
Successfully attracting more ideal clients depends upon four fundamental elements:
Instead of scrambling for any new business — attract the best, the buyers who are ideal for you.
Successfully attracting more ideal clients depends upon four fundamental elements:
- Identifying those clients who are ideal for you and your services;
- Offering potentially ideal clients a compelling reason for choosing you;
- Applying the best marketing strategies … effectively
A brand promise is the cornerstone of generating more new business.
Properly developed and managed, the promise can generate new business and referrals from past clients.
By consistently providing quality service, you promise that clients will continue to receive the same quality.
This promise of quality is reassuring to your clients and contacts.
It increases their comfort in continuing to deal with you and also recommend potentially ideal clients to you.
Your competitive advantage is that combination of factors that give you an advantage over the competition.
It’s your unique combination of skills, training and experience that allows you to serve and satisfy clients your own way, unlike anyone else.
The first step in clarifying your competitive edge is to identify your strengths, which can be easily completed using a SWOT analysis.
The next step is to complete a competitive advantage to determine what you do better than your competitors.
There are plenty of competitive advantage resources online: select the version you like best to complete the process.
The final step is to incorporate your competitive advantage into your personal branding and compelling reason listed below.
Develop and Maintain Strong Authentic Inter-Personal Relationships
Marketing services is about developing and maintaining the inter-personal relationships upon which successful businesses are based.
The purpose of advertising, networking, content marketing or any kind of direct outreach is to identify potentially ideal clients with whom we can develop a mutually beneficial relationship.
Once these connections have been made, effective marketing helps not only maintain but enhance these interpersonal relationships.
Regardless of what service you provide, email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to get more clients and generate more new business.
Sendinblue, a SaaS solution for relationship marketing, which includes email marketing lists the following benefits of small business email marketing:
- Massive ROI
- Improve customer retention through consistent engagement
- Reach new customers through your online content
- Build a brand through thought leadership
- Drive sales with a customer loyalty program
- Promote new products or services
- Learn more about what your customers like and dislike
- Stay top of mind for future customer needs
You wouldn’t dream of buying a car without a test drive.
In effect, a test drive is a free sample of what it would be like to drive the vehicle once you have bought or leased it. That’s kind of like the free samples of food offered in grocery stores and other food sellers.
This ‘try-before-you-buy’ approach can also be very effective technique to get more clients.
Many professionals offer a free 30-miunute consultation.
This free sample of your services allows potential clients to try before they buy.
It also gives you the opportunity to qualify potential clients are ideal for you and your services.
This is the absolute best source of new clients for service referrals.
In making referrals, referral sources are in effect, confirming that you are a competent and trustworthy person with whom to do business.
As a result, referrals tend to be pre-qualified, open to the possibility of hiring you for the help you can provide.
In order to get more clients by way of referral, there are two things to keep in mind.
- You must ask for them.
Assuming that you enjoy sound relationships with your clients, you can enjoy a steady flow of referrals by asking for them when and how appropriate.
- You must also earn them.
Consistent high quality client service will position you generate more referral business.
And so will making referrals to others.
As a service professional, giving advice is a component of your work.
In many cases, this advice is more of an automatic response to a question than a mindful delivery of service.
Instead of just dispensing the first chunk of information that comes to mind, why not serve up some helpful advice?
Rather than simply telling clients what they should do, try helping them understand what they can do and how to do it.
Clients cherish and remember the helpfulness of advice long after the exact details have been forgotten.
Consistently providing helpful advice enhances relationships with clients: the perfect nutrient for the growth of repeat and referral business.
Incentives like value-added bonuses and special discounts encourage potential clients to make the decision to but what you are selling also known as hiring you.
Instead of describing incentives, here are two examples.
The example illustrates a value-added bonus, which takes the form of a free course of comparable value.
Unless the promotion of your services is regulated by a professional governing body, the only limits on the incentives that you can offer are the limits of your own creativity.
“A joint venture is a strategic alliance where two or more people or companies agree to contribute goods, services and/or capital to a common commercial enterprise.” Susan Ward
By teaming up with other people or businesses in a joint venture, you can:
- Extend your marketing reach
- Build credibility with a particular target market
- Access new markets that would be inaccessible without the partner
- Access new revenue streams
Joint ventures offer significant opportunities for self-employed service providers to get more clients.
Very early in the consulting phase of my career, I was invited to join a group of more experienced consultants in a project that was larger than any one of us could have managed on our own.
Not only did this experience dramatically increase my skill level, it opened the door to more opportunities to generate new clients than I could have ever imagined.
Keeping In Touch
This is the ideal strategy for nurturing relationships with potential and actual clients, as well as network contacts and online connections.
Effectively keeping in touch simulates considerable repeat and referral business.
The best strategies for marketing services are not new, sophisticated or complicated.
These tried & true strategies have consistently generated new business for service professionals.
They are the time-tested techniques that professionals have always applied to develop and maintain strong relationships with clients.
When applied effectively, these strategies can and do generate new business.
you connect with potentially helpful network contacts and ideal clients alike.
Its built-in search features make it possible for you to identify and connect with the individuals you need to know to get more clients and generate more new business.
Success on LinkedIN starts with profile that showcases you’re the key element of your brand promise and personal brand.
With a personal brand-based profile in place, you can showcase and share your expertise in posts, articles as well as special interest groups.
Marketing Is Important–Authentic Marketing Is Best
In the early stages of my marketing journey, a very experienced marketing consultant told me that marketing is the most important of all business functions.
It is after all, marketing that generates the new business that all business organizations need to survive, grow and thrive.
New clients, who represent one of only two sources of new business, are attracted by marketing communications of one form or another.
The other source of new business, returning clients, is also generated by some form of marketing, if only the simple memory of welcome help received in the past.
Many consumers, including your potentially ideal clients are cynical about marketing.
They often perceive it as little more than false advertising, overly hyped promotions and aggressive pushy sales pitches.
For your marketing messages to generate the results you want, it’s important to distinguish your marketing from promotions marked by exaggerated benefits and outright lies.
Authentic marketing will help showcase your true best self and as a result, stop self-sabotaging your marketing
This is the ideal strategy for increasing the number of referral sources and by extension, the number of incoming referrals.
It’s also perfect for sourcing the information, people, things and know-how you need to grow your business.
Like making referral requests, networking can be undertaken in many formats from one-on-one both in-person and online through websites and social media applications.
The key to effective networking whether online or off, is the willingness to give as much, or perhaps more than, we receive.
If there is one thing to be learned from the COVID pandemic it the importance of every business, including service businesses, to have an online presence.
In response to pandemic restrictions and lockdowns, businesses of all kinds shifted live, in-person gathering to on-line interactions.
These interactions took place on and through social media applications and stand-alone websites alike.
Now, more than ever before, when individuals want or need professional services, they start their search online.
Typically, social media accounts and profiles are among the first sources listed.
As a result, your LinkedIn profile, Facebook pages, Instagram and Twitter references usually represent the starting point for potentially ideal clients to find you.
It also follows that these social media accounts are also your starting points for making it easy to clients to find you.
If you want to find clients online, we have to make it easy for clients to find you.
Your Personal Brand will help you stand out from the crowd and attract more ideal clients.
Here are eight actions that will enhance your personal branding.
1. Be Responsive
2. Be Self-Assured
3. Listen Carefully
4. Live Your Core Values
5. Know Your Why
6. Focus On Your Clients
7. Treat Everyone With Respect
8. Be Willing To Collaborate
This is the magic ingredient that links you, your services and your ideal clients.
It is your reputation for and promise of quality that attracts new clients by either or both of third-party and self-referral.
It is your delivery of quality service that satisfies clients, encouraging them to return for repeat business and refer others to you.
In a nutshell, quality service is nothing more or nothing less than dealing with clients in a respectful and helpful way.
What does quality service mean for your clients?
If you don’t know … ask them.
And then do more by exceeding their expectations.
In return, you can expect more repeat and referral business from satisfied clients.
Reach Out To Strangers
When you and your contacts have run out of potentially helpful contacts, it will be necessary to reach out to strangers.
Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable with this strategy.
The good news is that the same online resources that make it easier to ask for referrals online also simplify the process of contacting strangers.
Virtual outreach strategies from advertising to content or digital marketing to writing blog posts or web content facilitate contacting strangers.
Learn more about any or all of Generating Referrals, Keeping in Touch, Networking and Reaching Out To strangers, see: Stop Complicating Your Marketing.
Stop Prospecting for New Clients
This approach is modeled on prospectors searching for precious metals such as gold.
Certainly, the search part of the process is like looking for new clients for our services.
Prospectors seek inanimate things like seams of gold or nuggets that they themselves need and want for commercial purposes.
Once the gold has been extracted and processed, it is sold as the commodity it is.
As a service professional, your work involves interacting with people, not processing physical things.
Unlike prospectors, you cannot physically extract potential clients from their surroundings and then apply appropriate procedures to generate the outcomes that you want.
Also, unlike prospectors you can engage with these people, helping them understand the benefits that they will receive from your services.
Teaching & Training
Most leads early in the buying cycle seek education above anything else.
They want to learn more about their problem and how a potential solution could help them solve it.
However, they may not want to discover it by reading content.
For example, a manager of a thriving business who struggles to generate more inquiries online, might not have enough digital expertise to understand your ideas.
In fact, they might prefer someone to explain it to them first hand.
And here lies your opportunity — hosting regular educational events to explain the benefits of your services to potential clients.
(Source: … Proven Strategies to Get More Clients…)
Underpromise & Overdeliver
A simple example of this approach is when you promise that a routine task will be completed in five days…but you deliver in two or three.
Think of how you felt the last time that something was completed sooner than expected.
That’s exactly how clients feel when you underpromise and overdeliver.
But don’t limit this approach to routine tasks.
When you promise your routine good service but delight your clients with a memorable experience, otherwise satisfied clients become devoted and passionate fans.
Again, think of how you felt the last time something you expected to be routine became a memorable experience.
In all likelihood you probably told anyone and everyone about the experience.
If as devoted and passionate fans, your clients carried on as enthusiastically about your services, how much more business could you expect?
Michael Port is the author of six books and a New York Times best-selling author. He has been called a marketing guru by the Wall Street Journal and a sales guru by The Financial Times.
On the subject of value, he advises:
“As a professional service provider you don’t want to try to convince people that what you are offering people is right for them. You want to provide value upon value until you believe that your services are right for them.
“They will get better results that way and be more satisfied with your services, a factor that is way too important to forget about.”
To quantify or place a dollar value on your services, Port suggests the following criteria:
- How much income will your service provide?
- How long will what you create be a productive, useful resource for the client?
- How much pain will you resolve?
- How much pleasure will you create?
- How are you helping your client connect to their purpose or spirit?
- How will your work create substantial and long-lasting peace of mind?
(Source: Book Yourself Solid)
Write A Book
As a writer, I know both the joy and the marketing power of writing a book.
After self-publishing my first book, Doubleday purchased rights to the second edition, which went on to become a best-seller, translated into six languages.
This book led to numerous speaking engagements, including a bank-sponsored cross-country speaking tour, as well as oodles of new clients.
If you can effectively serve, and satisfy clients, you are equally qualified to repurpose your expertise into a book.
Writing a book will position you as an authority in your field, which in turn positions you to attract more of the ideal clients that you want and deserve.
When I self-published my first book, self-publishing was the exception, not the norm.
Today there is a wide range of self-publishing options. These options range from free do-it-yourself publishing on Amazon and other sites to done-for-you services offered by experienced writers and book-producers.
Isn’t it time that you wrote and published that book you have been thinking about?
Your potentially ideal clients waiting for it.
Xpert In Your Field
Your professional training and xperience qualify you as an xpert in your field.
This distinguishes you from those instant experts who have read a book or done some online research to gather information about something in your field.
Unlike these wannabe experts, your knowledge and xpertise help you apply specialized information for the benefit of clients.
Unfortunately, having become an xpert does not mean that you can ride your xpertise for the rest of your career.
Given the relentless change in today’s world, continuing education continuous improvement are essential to upgrade and enhance your xpertise and by xtension, maintain your position as the go-to xpert in your field.
Your Compelling Reason
A compelling reason …explains the benefit that the target audience will realize with your product. And, as the name implies, it is a more compelling way to capture interest. Trisha Winter
Your personal brand is the core of your compelling reason for clients to choose you instead of the competition.
You know that no one serves and satisfies clients the way you do.
You also know how you help clients and how they benefit from your help.
But do potential clients and referral sources know these things?
With your compelling reason built in, your personal branding can help you become the client magnet that you want and deserve to be.
To learn more about your Brand Promise, Personal Branding and Your Compelling Reason, see Stop Being Ignored; Start Standing Out From The Crowd.
Zealous Commitment To Serving Clients
This level of commitment is dedicated, fervent and passionate.
It means doing whatever it takes serve and satisfy clients … and getting better at it.
How you serve clients validates your personal brand and brand promise.
It is also the essential element that satisfies clients, which in turn develops, maintains and enhances client loyalty.
Satisfied, loyal clients can and do generate more new business than can be imagined.
Regardless of which of the above ways to get more clients that you follow, your efforts will be in totally wasted in the absence of good, preferably excellent client service.
Your One Thing
Recognizing that this list represents a very large amount of information to process, I have one further suggestion.
Having reviewed, however briefly, these business-generating suggestions, what is one thing you can do generate more new business?
Want a hint?