When most service-providers want to get more clients, they tend to chase after anyone and everyone who appears willing to pay for their help.
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
Stop Prospecting for New Clients
Not surprisingly, looking for people to hire you is often referred to as prospecting.
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.
And yes, an element of our marketing includes looking for signs that we are close to finding what we seek — potentially new clients.
But that’s where service-providers marketing their services part company with the prospector looking for precious metals.
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.
Among other things, the most effective way to get more clients includes identifying individuals and organizations who want or need the kind of help we offer.
Our work involves interacting with people, not processing physical things.
Unlike prospectors, we cannot physically extract potential buyers from their surroundings and then apply appropriate procedures to generate the outcomes that we want.
Also, unlike prospectors we can engage with these people, helping them understand the benefits that they will receive from our services.
The ideal outcome of this engagement is a relationship leading to the decision to chooser us to help them with whatever problems or issues they face.
Hopefully, this relationship will be ongoing, with potential buyers making the transition to actual clients and from there to satisfied clients.
The best strategy get more new business is to engage potential buyers…not treat them as inanimate elements to be processed for sale.
Start Attracting Ideal Clients
Ideal Clients are those clients you love to serve and are good at satisfying!
Successfully marketing and delivering services involves making many decisions about a wide range of issues.
Deciding the kinds of people and organizations that you would like to serve is one such issue.
Since it’s your choice as to who you want to serve, why not choose to serve only the ones who are best for you?
In fact, why not take this choice one step further and choose to serve ideal clients?
Think of ideal clients as good clients with friend benefits.
Relationships with these people also include the joy of interacting with like-minded people who share common values and interests.
When serving ideal clients, not only will you love what you are doing, you will get even better at doing it.
Life is too short to settle for anything less than the best.
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
The best way to attract ideal clients is to offer them a compelling reason for choosing you instead of the competition.
For purposes of attracting clients, a compelling reason is the exact opposite of most online content.
Such a reason generates any or all of acute admiration, attention, or respect.
Individually or in combination with the others, these are powerful factors in attracting new clients.
Developing a powerful rationale for clients to choose you instead of the competition is neither creative fiction, nor is it advertising spin.
Remember that your combination of resources is unique to you.
No one else possesses the exact same collection of skills, talents, know-how and experience as you do.
This means that no one else serves clients exactly the same way as you. Your distinctiveness contributes to the rationale for prospective clients choosing you.
With a sound and honest compelling reason for choosing you, potential clients will ignore the crowded field of competitors shouting for attention.
Standing out from the crowd will help you get more clients, especially the ideal clients that want, need and deserve.
Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand is the core of your compelling reason.
By distinguishing you and your services from all others, it helps you attract potentially ideal clients.
Service-providers often give up their distinctiveness by trying present themselves in a manner that they think is expected of them.
Invariably, this leads to copying the business and marketing practices of others. As a result, they lose their distinctiveness.
Without distinctiveness, all providers of the same service seem pretty much the same to potential clients and referral sources.
All lawyers seem much the same, all accountants seem much the same, and so forth.
Given that everyone in the same business seems much the same, it would follow that their services would also be much the same, right?
As a provider of services, you know that’s not correct.
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?
Personal branding will help tell the market who you are and how you help clients.
It is also a key element of your professional services business development.
Your Brand Promise
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.
However, poor brand development and weak business management will lead to broken promises, which drive potential clients to the competition.
By consistently providing quality service, you promise that clients will continue to receive the same quality.
Developing and Maintaining Inter-Personal Relationships
At another level, 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.
The bottom line on maintaining relationships, whether personal or business, is that the more authentic each party is, the better the relationship.
Who wants to interact with either an individual or service business considered to be unreliable or untrustworthy?
Consumers, including our own potentially ideal clients, tend to see most marketing as little more than false advertising, overly hyped promotions and aggressive, pushy sales pitches.
For our marketing messages to generate the results we want, we must distinguish our marketing from the promotions marked by exaggerated benefits, and blatant lies.
More Business For Your Business
The best, most authentic marketing is based on building and maintaining trusting relationships, not aggressively pitching products or services.
If we consistently ensure that our marketing is truly authentic … in other words, aligned with our personal values and beliefs … we can distinguish ourselves from false advertising & overly hyped promotions.
With authentic marketing, you can also expect to generate more business for your business.
The Best Authentic Marketing Practices for Service Professionals
These practices are all about developing and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships.
The following authentic marketing practices all deliver high value at no or low cost.
1. Generating Referrals
This is the absolute best source of new clients for service businesses.
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.
First, you must ask for them.
Satisfied clients are usually happy to make referrals; but they don’t always know that you will welcome 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.
And second, in order to get more referrals, you must also earn them.
Consistent high quality client service will position you generate more referral business. And so will making referrals to your network contact.
Offline referral requests range from one-on-one in-person interactions to direct mail and email campaigns.
Similarly, online requests can be made through web content, blog and social media posts.
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.
3. Contacting 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.
Virtually outreach strategies from advertising to content or digital marketing to writing blog posts or web content facilitate contacting strangers.
4. 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.
Learn More About:
Your Personal Brand As Your Compelling Reason
- The Essential Elements of Your Professional Services Brand Strategy
- STOP Being Ignored; START Standing Out From The Crowd