Finding Profitable Business Clients is Not Easy Unless You Have an Easy to Implement System or Process
Profitable clients don’t grow in trees. They take a lot of cultivating. It’s rare that you can meet a new prospect and turn them into a profitable client in a day. It takes time and effort.
But there are ways that you can make the process far less arduous. It can be easier and less effort than you may be used to.
Focusing on Your Target Audience
When trying to sell a course it’s easy to use a blunderbuss to try to hit your target. For example; if you are trying to get employers to enrol staff onto a CIM course you probably chase a wide range of businesses. It sort of makes sense because every business needs to market. But there is another way. Why not focus on a particular sector? And why not start by targeting employers that already know you? You could look at every retailer of a certain size that has sent someone to you in recent years and promote your CIM courses to them. Or you might even use laser targeting and focus on legal practices .. they are in need of marketing.
The thing is if you focus on one sector at a time you get to understand that sector and their specific problems. You can talk with more authority as you get to understand their particular issues. When they feel you understand them they are more likely to click with you, trust you and use you as their preferred provider.
Lead Generation is often misunderstood. Buying a list of people in a sector isn’t lead generation. These people don’t know you and will probably consider your email to be spam. And if you cold call them don’t expect them to drop everything to talk to you. They will have deadlines and priorities and as they don’t know you it means you are an interruption.
So you need to discover a way to generate leads without being considered spammy or tacky.
LinkedIn is a great way to get build relationships and generate leads. So is writing articles or posts for trade magazines or websites. Putting great content on your own website and posting it on social media can also work. In fact, there are hundreds of ways to generate leads
Lastly, you need a way to move from lead generation to follow up. Just generating leads and doing nothing with them is no good. Sending them a couple of sales letters or emails is also going to yield badly compared with really cultivating theses leads. For that, you need ongoing nurture.
Ongoing nurture is key to success. But sending emails that tell them what you had for breakfast is no use whatsoever. To nurture prospects they need a steady stream of really useful information that they look forward to receiving and reading. A steady stream can mean a lot of things. In some markets it means daily. In other markets it means monthly. A degree of experimentation might be needed to determine the best email frequency. However I’d start with monthly rather than daily in most cases.
The type of content will again depend on your audience. But think of it like this. If your audience is already getting news about, say, new legislation they don’t want m0ore of that from you. Their issue will be the impact that the legislation is going to make on their business. So writing content on that and how to manage the impact is going to be better received and will answer some of the questions that will be in their mind right now.
As I see it there are three types of content that will nurture prospects and turn them into clients or customers.
Two of them are around providing them with insights that no one else is giving them. By doing this you provide your prospects with distinctive and essential perspectives on how to improve their systems, processes and overall business. And tied to this is the provision of a vision of their future business and how they can achieve the necessary improvements.
The third element builds on the first two. Once you have provided the vision, insights and ways to implement them you need to make them aware of the ROI of the relationship you have built. Implicit in this is the need to cement that relationship into a long-term situation where you can help them even more effectively.
Winning clients is all about the day that your nurturing pays off and the prospects become a paying customer.
Above I’ve outlined how to turn prospects into a client. But once they become a client you mustn’t stop. Loyalty is very rare today and they will soon move on if you don’t actively continue the nurturing process. All of the above need to continue alongside the services you now provide them as customers.