By Charlie Cook
How to Get the Right Clients and Avoid the Wrong Ones
If you're like most service professionals and small business owners, one of your primary concerns is generating as many leads as possible. And that may be your biggest mistake, resulting in wasting time on unqualified prospects and working with too many clients you wish you didn't have to.
Bill is a financial advisor looking for clients. Working from his stack of leads, he picks up the phone and starts making calls. The first person he gets on the phone has lots of questions and it turns out is just looking for free advice. After a half hour, Bill finally gets him off the phone. Bill's next call finds a highly interested prospect. After forty-five minutes, he's ready to sign her up, when he discovers she only has a couple of hundred dollars to invest.
At the end of the day, Bill has spent eight hours on the phone and still hasn't signed up any new clients.
Do you ever spend time chasing leads that are just a waste of time?
Martha is a graphic designer who has plenty of clients, but her profits have been shrinking instead of growing lately. One of her long-term clients calls her daily with a question or a complaint. Just when Martha thinks a project is done, this one client changes her mind and wants it redone. And while the customer is always right, this customer's lack of respect and professionalism is starting to get under Martha's skin.
Have you ever had to deal with clients who waste your time or are unrealistic in their demands?
A common mistake is to try to appeal to everyone, with the result that you attract too many people who don't want to pay for your services and clients you'd rather not work with. A more profitable marketing strategy is to position yourself and your firm to attract just those clients that want to work with you and who you'd enjoy sharing your expertise.
Imagine that every lead you pursued turned into a client, one who you could be honest and direct with, a client who you looked forward to working with. You'd make more money and have more fun.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could pick and choose your clients?
While you can't completely control who contacts you, you can use your marketing to position yourself to attract promising prospects and people who would make good clients. Here's how.
Define Your Ideal
Use Your Marketing
Use Questions to
If you've called one of them, and they don't seem like a good prospect, get off the phone in three minutes or less, and move on to a more promising prospect.
Make a short list of questions to ask that will help clients define what they're looking for. When you talk with clients, use these questions to clarify their expectations. If you can meet these requests, use their answers to provide a summary of services. That way you'll both be working from the same script.
Get Rid of Problem
Use these marketing strategies to position your firm to attract the prospects you want so you can pick and choose your clients. You'll have more fun, increase your profits and be more successful.
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2004 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved. The author, Charlie Cook, helps independent professionals and small-business owners who are struggling to attract more clients and grow their businesses. To get the free marketing guide, '7 Steps to Get More Clients and Grow Your Business' visit www.charliecook.net or write firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Success Networks International.
Last Updated 08/18/2004