I received an email from a struggling business owner the other day. She's good at what she does, but is in danger of closing her doors after being in business for over 3 years due to a lack of long term clients.
The problem? There are actually two:
1. She's not *consistently* marketing to get new clients (filling her funnel, pipeline, pyramid) and
2. She suffers from distraction (yes. . .it is like a disease).
She and I are addressing the above problems for the long term. The most immediate need, however, is getting clients in the door.
Remember the famous quote by Albert Einstein:
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
To get clients quickly, you must be willing to take a step outside your comfort zone – take a big gulp and confidently move forward.
1. Make time to market for new clients.
While she thinks she's busy now, a quick look at her time allocation shows she could tighten up her day to insure she's *productive*, not just busy.
When you're just starting out or in need of new clients, you should spend up to half your day performing marketing activities.
Do what you need to do to make this happen – after all, without clients, you don't have a business.
2. Get clear on the RESULTS and tell everyone.
Write a letter to everyone you know (friends, family, former clients, prospects) and educate (not sell) them on your ideal clients and the results you provide (NOT what you do – no one really cares) and ask them if they know anyone who may benefit from your services.
People like to be seen as a good source of information – you are giving them the ability to help others by connecting them with you.
3. Partner up!
In the online world, we call it "joint ventures" – it can be called the same thing in the offline world.
Make a list of other small businesses who offer complementary, not competing, services and contact them about mutual referrals. For example, a bookkeeper should call CPA firms and offer bookkeeping services to their clients (especially at this time of year in preparation for tax season).
4. Get out of the office.
It's time to get out of the house/office and do some actual face-to-face networking and speaking.
Groups are always looking for speakers – give your local Chamber of Commerce, Real Estate Broker, BNI and Rotary Club a call and offer to speak on a specialized topic linked to the services you provide.
5. Advertise to those who know you.
If you are sending out an email newsletter (or any type of CONSISTENT communications) to your prospects, let them know that you have a few openings for new clients.
You never know who is thinking about working with you and just needs to know you have the space.
These steps are designed to get you clients quickly. Once you solve your immediate "client crunch", it's time to put processes in place to insure you have clients in your pipeline consistently and remember, by not marketing consistently, you are denying those who need you the most!
Your Coaching Challenge If you're currently looking for new clients, pick one of the above items to do EACH DAY of the coming week – starting TODAY!