Creating client bases which work

Creating client bases which work

Maintain a focus on creating clients

There will be good days and bad days when it comes to creating and sustaining your client base. Every day is an opportunity to make the most of it and focus on a consistent client generating system.

focus the words you use so clients and prospects can see your clear benefits for them.

There is one thing to keep in mind; you will find it difficult to attract clients if you are continually working a depleted mental state. It is critical for you to maintain a positive mental attitude and a consistent approach.

The big issue will be to maintain a balance between doing assignments and creating new business.

Before you start trying to win new clients

Start by answering some key questions, and understand the answers:

•          What do you do?

•          What do I want to feel during this conversation?

•          What’s the most important skill or value for me to bring

•          What will I have to release, to have a heartfelt connection?

•          Why do my products and services rock? What is the value I deliver?

•          What’s the best possible outcome I can imagine from conversations?

•          How would you like to promote yourself?

•          How will you generate quality leads?

•          How will you start contacting clients?

Your budget sets the pace required

You must know the numbers it will take to achieve your goals. Your key numbers will also influence your approach and decision making,

Budgeting is about allocating financial, physical, and human resources to meet your vision and objectives. Develop budgets to monitor progress and help control spending, while predicting cash flow and profit.

The central challenge of a budget is mapping out the future, often without perfect outcomes. The fast pace of technology change and the complexities of global competition makes developing meaningfull budgets both more difficult but also more critical.

Your Business Plan

With no clear direction, you will finish up anywhere. It gives your business direction, defines your vision and objectives, maps out strategies to achieve your aspirations and helps you to manage possible barriers along the way.

Ensure all aspects of your business are in alignment with your vision and objectives.

Preparing a business plan will help you work out the goals you want to execute, and the strategies to achieve them while reminding you of why you started a business in the first place. Don’t forget a business plan is a critical component of raising capital.

Your Business Model

You must have a business model which shows how you will make money. A sound business model will protect you through differentiation. Business models have become the new way of rising above the competitive forces. Business models can replace product features and benefits as you deal with new technologies and globalisation.

You must have everything in alignment to prevent the ’gears mashing’.

Your Value Chain

Who is going to help you and what will they do? Expanding your value chain is vital for young business clients to understand and implement.   When engaging with young business people on the challenges they face, you will find access to finance and marketing emerge as critical concerns. Seek to have real-time Information available across your value chain.

Value chains are becoming increasingly important

Closer scrutiny of business models generally reveals young business people are often not deemed creditworthy, or suitable for investment, primarily because they lack consistent and deep commitment and access to their perceived target markets. In short, their order books are lean, and their access to markets is limited.

Establish your credibility

As a young person, you will make many relationship mistakes. People will forgive you for making them but never rely on it. Your first step in establishing a successful relationship of any kind happens before you even have the first conversation with a potential client.

If you’re serious about establishing yourself as credible keep these words in mind:

  • Reliable
  • Practical
  • Useful
  • Trustworthy
  • Respectful
  • Competent 
  • Consistent
  • Sincerity
  • Genuine
  • Honesty
  • Loyalty
  • Accountable
  • Commitment

Ideally, you want potential clients to come to you already pre-sold on what you can do for them. It’s always nice to have your potential clients feel like they know and trust you.

It is essential you have a process which you follow before every meeting, and it is repeatable.  When you are starting it is a good idea to offer your initial consultations for free, in this way potential clients get to know you and what you can do

Establish your Centres of Influence?

Centres of influence are those people or organisations who can boost your market access and credibility through referrals, testimonials, and word-of-mouth. Your best centres of influence will even pre-sell you, so all you have to do is sign up the order.

Centres of influence are people who are generally very well established, are experienced networkers and who can introduce you to the markets you are looking to identify and work. Ideally, you should only have ten Centres of Influence, which you update as you move forward.

Establish your connections

Like most people, you will be a little nervous or anxious when you’re talking to new people for the first time? You want to say the right things, make a good impression and convince them to work with you.

You want to make sure your contacts and the potential client feel at ease and have a secure relationship established with you.

Everyone, on both sides, will feel a little nervous when establishing new connections. Many will be wary about being sold something they don’t want.

Without the establishment of good connections, you have no real clients. Keep in mind; people don’t care what you know until they know you care for them. The potential client’s wants and needs must come before yours.

Set your agenda for creating a client base

When you have established a connection, it’s time for you to take the lead by setting the agenda for the time you spend with the new person.  A schedule helps you in establishing yourself as the person leading what happens during the encounter and beyond.

You must learn about your chosen industry, as clients will not be around for long if you do not understand them. How to start building a client base:

  • Define your target market
  • Understand your product or service
  • Define your Centres of Influence
  • Set up a referral system
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Define your ‘watering holes’
  • Learn how to secure an order
  • Be clear about what the client can expect
  • Be reliable and follow through.

When you approach new clients well, then you don’t have to worry about having an adverse reaction when you make an offer. If you don’t have a process for creating the agenda, you will waste a lot of time being interviewed or being asked questions which will leave your potential client feel like they received what they wanted to know, but fail to become a client.

Establish the gaps between real and perceived value

Arguably the number one reason potential clients aren’t signing up with you if you’re not establishing enough value.

Take your potential clients through a discussion so they have a very definite understanding of the value or the results they will receive from working with you.  It’s important work through this process before you offer your products or services.

Your goal should be to inspire your potential client to have a vision for their business, or personal development, which is bigger and more inspiring than anything that currently exists.

If you’re receiving a lot of people saying no to you, then there’s probably a part of your process which is not working well.  People are failing to understand the value of working with you.

It is this part of the process which you need to spend the most time on, as this is when you actually engage the client without and ‘selling’.

Know and understand the realistic potential.

If your proposed client isn’t feeling excited about where they want to go, it doesn’t matter what you offer; they are not going to be interested. Remember the real value is what benefits the client not what helps you.

The client will be looking to see how your products and services will solve their problems and frustrations, or meet their wants and needs. If you don’t bridge the gap, you haven’t created enough value for the person to want to pay for your services, and you don’t have a client.

When you do address the Gap correctly, you significantly increase the number of people who will say yes to working with you. You’re able to continue to grow your fees and have a high income. You need to work on having fewer consultations to achieve the income you desire so you can keep you working hours to a minimum.

Making an offer

It is this step where you offer your services, and when you sign up a client assignment. When making an offer is done well, potential clients will be asking you how you can help before you even offer your products or services.

Don’t forget to apply the value chain concept, on the idea of various suppliers in your value chain are providing components of your end product. The client will know you can’t do everything yourself.  You must know how to guide the client to a successful outcome.

Look at encouraging young business people’s participation in building practical and useful value chains themselves. Show your potential clients how your products and services will help them to take them to where they want to go.

Recognise you are the ‘captain of the ship’ which will guide your potential clients to a destination about which they are passionate and want to arrive at as quickly as possible. You know the way, your products and services are the boats designed for the client’s journey.

Potential clients won’t be interested in your ‘boats’, even though they might admire them like they would a nice car. However, they will be excited and involved in the destination and the achievement of their aspirations.

Transform objections into opportunities

When someone raises an objection to your products or services, it will generally be one of four things:

  1. You have not given them enough of the right information
  2. They have no interest or no money
  3. They are just being polite and don’t know how to end a conversation.
  4. Bingo, they are giving you a positive buying signal.

A potential client may have some concerns or questions which you must satisfactorily answer before they can fully commit and say yes. Should their question be one you, don’t have an answer to, say so? Tell them you will get back to them and make sure you do promptly. Perhaps you can use your smartphone to get an immediate answer.

Naturally, people will have some fear or self-doubt when they’re considering saying yes to making a change. Change can be uncomfortable for most people. If they say they can’t afford it, it’s not about you.  It’s often fears and self-doubt coming up. It just means you need to be skilful at handling this part of the conversation.

Know and understand common objections

Be prepared to address each of the common reasons why clients raise and objection. You should want to know what to say and how to support your potential client in having a transformational conversation. Here are some common objections (or stalling tactics) you should not allow yourself to be tripped up on:

  • I can’t afford it
  • It’s not in our budget
  • I don’t need it right now
  • I don’t have the time
  • I have to talk to my partner first
  • I need to think about it
  • My ‘gut feel’ is telling me no
  • I have some competitive quotes coming.

Get started with a new client

If you do everything in your process well, there’s an excellent chance you are ready to be celebrating a new client. Once a new client says yes, there’s one more part to the engagement which could bring the agreement undone. There’s nothing worse than having done all the work of having a new client only to find out they have changed their mind.

When new clients say yes to something, they can immediately begin to have second thoughts.  Self-doubt concerning whether they made the right decision, or what their partners might say is very real. Your job now is to support them in not changing their mind.

When starting your client engagement successfully, you avoid having situations where your brand new clients change their mind. You might need to reinforce the crucial things the new client need to do now, to successfully get started.

Put your plans into action

I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say one thing all of us have in common is the need for higher levels of productivity. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself, precisely what is productivity?

Hope you see how all of the pieces relating to creating a client base, can quickly lead to new clients streaming into your business. Productivity should be a conscious act. It is the strategic deployment of all available assets to include your time, talent, experiences, energy, intelligence and relationships in a manner calculated to move you rapidly closer to a highly productive client base.

Consistently following a system will help you plug up any leaks in your process of landing new and profitable clients. Any engagement system should be respecting people, showing them you care. It’s why plugging up all the holes in your systems and processes are such a critical aspect of any business.

Losing makes it harder to regain momentum

Staying motivated and maintain momentum along the journey seems to become a struggle for almost everyone at some point in their life. Challenges will often cause you to dig deep and find the inner strength you didn’t know you had to maintain momentum.

Sometimes, we set a goal which is too big for the time and resources you have.  It can cause you to skirt around the target or avoid it altogether, making no progress in the direction you want to go.

As a business owner or manager, it is important to remember it is your family who also carries the load of your decision-making. If you don’t keep your family and friends well informed your momentum will eventually suffer.

Maintaining momentum is one of the most common challenges I hear when talking about how to improve business performance.  Even though I have an understanding of the subject, I am not immune from this same struggle from time to time.

Client databases at rest tends to stay at rest.

If you want to maintain a high level of momentum and productivity, it is essential to restrict the hours you work each week. Get in the habit of taking many short breaks throughout the year and surround yourself with motivated and confident people.

You can often waste your time waiting for the ideal solutions to appear when they are right before your eyes. Just take the first action, and you are underway.

How will you multiply or leverage your efforts?

If you were to open any business today, would it be one which sold a one-time product or service or something that people kept coming back and buying more? If you were to put effort into winning a client once, it would make good sense to keep them as a client for as long as possible.

A lever gives you the power to multiply the effectiveness of your input allowing you to achieve extraordinary results through ordinary effort. For you to make a great living, you need to be doing what you love and to keep improving on what you do well.

Creating the best path to follow

When you offer something free and consistently hold successful engagement conversations, you can create the best path to lots of clients and a consistent income. The secret reveals itself when you have the foundations in place, sound systems and you use the right tools and processes.

Selling services has become a quick way of achieving financial freedom. However, it is not simple if you can’t sell them profitably, which is dependent on so many factors. Perhaps the most critical factor is the market demand for the services you are selling.

Irrespective of the marketing strategies you adopt, you will go hungry for a long time if your products and services are not in demand. So before starting, it will be advantageous for you to conduct a market survey to find products and services in high demand.

Quotable Quotes

“You learn more from losing than winning. You learn how to keep going”. Morgan Wootton

“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm”. Aldous Huxley

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