Image courtesy of viagallery.com’s photostream.
There are some days in business where people, me included, get so caught up in work there’s barely time to do anything else — not even go to the bathroom! It seems as if everything gets put on hold, including paying attention to the future of our business or our career. This, of course, is not a good thing. Whether you’re a small business like The Language Lab or a big corporation, it’s not just “you’re only as good as your last client,” you’re also only as good as the next one.
I’m not suggesting that you neglect your current clients at the expense of attracting new ones. Even when you’re doing your utmost to keep the current ones happy, (and barely having time to go to the bathroom), never assume that this is all that is needed. You also need to train some of your undivided attention and understanding on how to win new clients, as the following tips suggest.
The Language Lab’s 5 top tips for winning new clients.
-Make a Map: Identify your target market and your most desired clients within that market. Here’s one excellent resource that offers a breakdown of how to find and target potential new clients. Stay focused; go after the clients you truly want to do business with, instead of taking a scattershot, wide-net approach.
-Be a Boy Scout: Be prepared. Before you contact a prospective client, do your research. Understand their business and be prepared to ask questions that will further your understanding of what makes their business tick. You can’t begin to talk about what your business can do for them until you truly understand what their business is all about and what their needs are.
-Fake it Till You Make It: Don’t let fear stop you from making cold calls. As these strategies suggest, view cold calling as “the key to opportunities and personal achievement to independence and choice.” The person on the other end of the phone line has no idea whether or not you are nervous — not if you did your research and speak with confidence.
-Be Your Best Buddy: Imagine you are helping a friend figure out what he or she has to offer. Then, analyze your own business in this way, noting its achievements and strengths. Doing so will help you identify the special qualities your business has that will benefit a potential client. Perhaps your turnaround time is faster than your competitors. Maybe you’ve established a significant reputation in your industry. Just as a friend might praise you for a quick wit and a great work ethic, you should be able to enthusiastically explain the special qualities your business has to offer. Take a look at How to Make Potential Customers Pick You Over ‘The Other Guys,’ for more tips.
– Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk: Being a business professional doesn’t mean you have to be “all sales all the time.” Being friendly and human is as important as merely enumerating your services. Ultimately, winning new clients is about building relationships, and you don’t do that only by talking the talk.
There are plenty of other resources right here at The Language Lab blog to help you hone your ability to win new clients; for example Persuasive Communication: How to Sell Your Business, Your Products, Your Ideas, Make Your Message Memorable and The Art of Persuasion: Key to Effective Communication.
Of course, if you have your own tips to share they are most welcome. Please leave a comment on the blog, or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.