The 6 step process to meeting your future clients
So you’ve been in business a few months and the money has been steadily flowing into the bank account. Your lovely customers have given you enough work to keep you going and you have been given the odd referral. You might even start thinking about booking a little holiday for working your socks off. You really haven’t thought about new prospects at all, have you!
Suddenly you notice the work with your existing clients starts to dry up. That’s when one of those really annoying curve balls hits you squarely between the eyes with the realization that….
You need to get out there and win some new customers
So why does this happen?
Many reasons, but often it is a result of existing customers changing their requirements. They might be long-term clients, who love what you do, but simply no longer have a need for your services.
So what can you do?
Well you could ask your existing customers what improvements you could better meet their needs. However, changing your product or service to fit your existing client’s needs is not always the way to go. Changing what you do can come at a price, so should really not be done without careful consideration first.
Whatever the reason, and there are many, meeting new prospects and converting them into more customers who love what you do, is probably going to be the next logical step.
But hang on a minute… do you know who they are? Where are these potential new prospects and how do you find out if they will want to buy from you.
Gulp! It’s pretty scary going up to someone you have never met before, with that little devil in your head whispering that they might laugh in your face and tell you to Foxtrot Oscar.
Believe you me!!!!!! I have been there and felt all of that. I still do occasionally.
The thing is no one wants to be rejected, even by someone they barely know. The challenge is to work out how to address the fear that can paralyze your chances of meeting your perfect new client.
Pushing through the fear
Now I have always had a very pragmatic approach to doing something I really don’t want to do, but know I have to. There are three things I do that help me push through the fear and get out there prospecting for new business.
- Be Accountable – I simply remind myself that if I don’t go out and meet new prospects, then I won’t have a cat in hell’s chance of reaping the rewards of that task i.e. money into my business.
- Be Confident – I also remind myself that prospects are probably nervous about meeting new people too. My vast experience tells me that if I make them feel comfortable in my presence, I know they will find it easier to do business with me.
- Learn How To – All I need to do then is follow a simple sales process to meet and introduce myself to the prospects that will happily give me the business I need to hit target.
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Learn How to – 6 Steps to meeting your new prospects
Who is your ideal new prospect?
Think about which of your existing clients give you the most profitable business. You will probably find that 20% of your customers generate 80% of your revenues and will heavily influence your profits too. Targeting prospects similar to your existing customers is always a quicker way of winning new business than trying to break into a new market or sector.
Go where they go
Research where these ideal new prospects hang out. Is it online or do they physically attend local networking groups? Ask your existing customers who their competitors are. If there appears to be no potential conflict of interest, then their competition would be a great place to start.
Look the part
Ok this might sound obvious, but present yourself in a way that prospects can quickly identify what you do. Body language is essential too so always make sure you are smiling. When you are nervous it is hard to remember to smile, but it will help you to relax and more importantly, more approachable to potential new clients.
Getting their attention
You might not think so, but this is the fun bit. Have some pre-prepared questions to get the conversation started. The weather, traffic and asking for assistance are great topics to start with. If you are cold calling, especially face to face, then humor can work too. However, be careful how you use humor as it could come across as unprofessional or inappropriate.
What to say so they want to know more
Once you have broken the ice with your new prospects, then you want to quickly find out if there is any potential opportunity for either yourself or the prospect. This is where you introduce yourself, your business and share with the prospect an opening benefit statement that grabs their attention.
However, keep your introduction short and quickly get them talking about their requirements. So for example if you are selling courier services, you might ask where they send their parcels and who they currently use.
Have more than one introduction
It is really useful to prepare more than one type of introduction depending on what you are doing.
Over the phone you will only need to use two or three sentences to introduce yourself to potential new prospects. At a networking event a 30 or 60 second elevator type pitch will give you the chance to explain how you delight your customers.
The about us page on a website will then go a few steps further explaining not only how great you are, but also allowing you to add more personality into the introduction and demonstrate the more approachable side of you and your business.
Succeed at Introductions
These 6 steps will quickly get you in front of your perfect prospect enabling you to convert them to lovely new profitable clients.
If you would like more help with introductions, download my essential introduction formula right here. It will help you create the perfect introduction so your new prospects will definitely want to know more about who you are and how you can help them.