How Do Clients Find You?
Getting new customers is the lifeblood of any business. The consensus in most marketing and business literature is that getting new customers is also the most expensive way to increase business sales.
Your New Client Attraction System is like creating a funnel that inputs a constant stream of new customers. You put leads for potential customers into the top of the funnel and those customers pre-sell themselves, eventually popping out of the end of the funnel ready to become a new customer.
In good times, particularly, you may never have to worry about getting new customers. However, there are times when new business may just dry up.
Who is your target customer? Have you looked at your business now to see which customers generate eighty per cent of your sales? Not surprisingly, those customers are probably only twenty per cent of your customer base.
Now what do they look like? Age, gender, type of business, education, etc. The potentials are long and this work can be tedious. But if you don’t know who you want to work with, how are you going to find them?
You are also going to identify the 20 to 40% of your customers who are not generating that much income and who are perhaps a pain to work with. You need to not look for more of those customers and stop working with the ones that you have. You know them. They are the ones that you wake up at night thinking about. They are the ones who call at the last minute. They are the ones who complain about the amount they are being charged. They are the ones that don’t pay their bills timely. You have permission to tell them to go somewhere else to be served. You need to be able to identify them before they become your customers or clients.
Once you find out who your “golden customers” are, how do you find more of them?
How did those customers find you? Were they referrals from other customers? Were they referrals from certain types of other referral sources? I get a lot of business from prior customers but I also get a lot of referrals from other lawyers, accountants, and financial planners as well as business brokers.
Who else does business with your “golden customers”? Who are their vendors? Who do they sell to? Who advises them? Can you identify and cultivate those referral sources?
Where do your “golden customers” hang out? Do they go to similar churches or schools? Do they belong to similar organizations or associations?
For example, if your target “golden customers” are lawyers, they belong to bar associations. If you want to find them, you can contact the bar association and meet the two most important people to getting you introduced: the executive director and the immediate past president. The current president is busy with their duties but the immediate past president has made all of the contacts but no longer is tied up with the day to day affairs of the association!
In real estate, one of the adages is location, location, location. Visibility may attract tenants, customers, etc. A billboard on a road with no traffic has little chance of being seen by potential customers.
How do you get in front of potential customers or referral sources?
If potential customers don’t know what you do, how will they know to reach out to you when they need what you offer?
When someone asks you what do you do or what your company does, what do you say? Most people answer with what they are rather than what we do. I am an attorney, but what I do is buy and sell businesses? What I really do though is help successful people become even more successful. Which answer would you want to hear?
What problems do you solve for your customers or clients? You know how successful business owners want to get more money from their business. I help successful business owners become more successful.
One of the best answers I have heard was a collision repair shop owner. He made it quite clear and simple, “I fix broke cars”. Perhaps not the best English but I bet you got the picture.
In one of his books, author and marketing guru Jay Abraham talks about the ways you can increase the income from your business. As he puts it, there are only three ways to increase business income:
- Get new customers
- Get your existing customers to buy more frequently
- Increase the amount that customers are spending with you.
Frankly, he is right and we should look at those ways. I should warn you though that while each of those strategies alone is excellent, wait until you see how you might use them!
First let’s look at where you are now. For this exercise you can substitute your numbers for your business. You get about 200 prospects into your funnel and you are able to close 20% of the prospects to customers, resulting in 40 customers. Each of them spends $1,000 so your monthly sales are $40,000.
Your funnel works but you want to see if you can increase the number of prospects by 20%.
So, we ramp up your prospecting through email marketing, advertising, word of mouth, or new referral sources to increase the new customers by 20% to 48 customers per month. Your gross sales are now $48,000 per month. Congratulations, you just grew your business by 20%!
As an alternative to adding new customers, it might be just as effective though to increase your closing rate. So let’s interview your top 3 sales people and video their sales presentations. They have probably never even compared notes and probably did not want to. However, after a lively discussion, you were able to use the best of their presentations and script a sales presentation that they and your other salespeople can rehearse. The result is a 20% increase in your closing ratio so you can increase sales with just the same number of prospects and without additional expense of more salespeople!
Your gross sales are now $48,000 per month. Congratulations, you just grew your business by 20%! But now you have your thinking cap on. What if we just raised our prices by 20%? Our products give the customer more benefit than we have considered. We have not increased prices in years. Let’s push until the customer starts saying no.
Your gross sales are now $48,000 per month. Congratulations, you just grew your business by 20%! Just by raising the price of your product which probably cost nothing to do.
How could you increase your business by more than 60%?
What if we combine the above? We increase the number of prospects. We increase our closing ratio. We increase the price. We do each of those at 20%.
The result is not 20% plus 20% plus 20% but actually 72.80%! Congratulations! We also just significantly increased the value of your business for a sale.
It’s cheaper to increase the amount your existing customers buy, because once someone has bought from you, then you have a higher chance of selling them again and you don’t have to pay to find that customer again.
That brings up an interesting question that will be the subject of another system that will be discussed: Do you have a system to capture the information on customers to retain them and do more business?