Attracting Potential Clients

Focus efforts on building a friendly, personal business image as you prospect

Know the most effective way to create a steady stream of clients just knocking at your door?  Although many businesses would like to believe it is, sales prospecting is definitely not a science.  Quite the contrary—attracting potential clients is actually more of an art.  Instead of thinking of clients as a number or a goal to achieve, focusing intensely on building solid personal business relationships is always more effective.

Effectively attracting potential clients involves these three key components:
  1. Establishing more personal professional relationships
  2. Understanding clients’ needs and sincerely addressing the situation
  3. Eliminating sales and prospecting tactics that don’t work
Action Steps
The best contacts and resources to help you get it done.

  • Take the time to be personal with communication.
    As maintaining a professional image so often is used as a reason to dismiss any form of personal communication, business professionals who make the effort to establish a more personal relationship with their prospects and clients automatically attract more notice.

    Recommendation: 
    Send a nice thank you card with a personal handwritten note to follow up business communications.  Also, tell prospects and potential clients that you care by remembering to include them on your corporate greeting cards list. Personalized correspondence received via postal mail always receives direct attention.

  • Don't be afraid of the phone.
    E-mail makes it easy and quick to contact your prospects, but too often this form of written communication fails to convey any expression of emotion—or even worse, sometimes the message can be misinterpreted causing confusing mixed signals. 

    Recommendation:  Making a phone call to discuss the details of a possible opportunity is a great way to build repertoire with potential clients.  Be sure to set up a convenient time with your prospect to talk first. 

  • Focus only on targeted customers.
    It’s easy to get distracted when targeting potential clients.  When developing and implementing your plan to attract clients, review for clarity and focus on a frequent basis.

    Recommendation:  Check out this helpful guide on how to identify target markets and prepare customer profiles.  As it digs through often complicated subjects like demographics and psychographics, it’s set up as an easy to follow worksheet.

  • Maintain a professional but friendly image.
    Ensuring potential customers they can have complete confidence in your product or service is essential; however, sometimes businesses take this too far and fail to be friendly and personable.  Even a business should have a unique “personality.”

    Recommendation:  Keep your business personality on track and on the mind by quickly reviewing The Personality Project blog on a weekly basis.

  • Learn about common sales misconceptions.
    The field of sales has become quite full of misconceptions and lore; sales professionals are often taught to use techniques that are actually more of a turn-off than anything else.

    Recommendation: This thought provoking list of sales prospecting myths from the About.com Small Business Information guide is a must read.
Tips & Tactics
Four final points for making the most of this Guide.
  • Although many sales professionals and entrepreneurs find moderate initial success doing things one particular way, reading an on-topic book a month (that’s just 10 pages per day on average) and constantly studying successful sales techniques will always promote improvement.  Good books to consider could be anything from a guide to attracting customers to a biography of a well-respected business mogul.

  • When communicating with existing customers or potential clients, always remain upbeat and positive.  Even one negative comment can set the stage for failure.  It sounds silly, but make yourself smile as you make a phone call or write a note to a prospect.

  • Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of “one-size-fits-all.”  Every client’s needs and situations are unique.  By doing more listening and less talking, you’ll be able to assess their particular scenario and earn their trust.
Finally, always remember this—earning the confidence of just one potential client will almost always lead to referrals and recommendations in the future.  Building strong client relationships promotes a snowball effect, often automating the process of attracting additional clients.