Blog / Why The Relentless Hunt for New Clients is Making You Poor
Published on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
When times are tough we all want new clients.
And profitable new clients are important. Really important.
But, that ‘want’ for new clients can easily become an obsession that costs you dear.
3 Ways the Hunt for New Clients Could Kill Your Business
1. This obsession can take your focus away from the clients who are your lifeblood today – from focussing on the relationships that you need to defend, nurture and develop.
2. It can blind you to the fact that you have a database full of ‘dead’ leads – who could now be ‘open to buy’ and willing to buy your products or services.
3. It can stop you from going back to ‘lapsed’ clients, renewing the contact and potentially opening the floodgates to new sales, opportunities and referrals.
How do I know this?
Well, I’ve made all those mistakes – and benefited from taking steps to correct them. And we see clients benefiting from taking the same simple steps all the time.
Compared with many ‘new client’ strategies, the good news is that your chances of success are excellent, your costs are a fraction of the cost of going to the cold market to win new clients and these things work in tough times.
And it’s a lot of fun!
Here are 10 things you can do today to win more business from EXISTING clients, lapsed clients and unconverted database contacts…
1. Speak to Them – that’s it. Just call them. Leave a voice mail message and then email them if they don’t pick up the phone or you can’t get through.
Just make contact, touch base and ask if they have anything that you can help them with in addition to what you already do (be ready to make a couple of suggestions).
2. Visit Them – this may only be practical for your more valuable clients and contacts, but go and see as many as you can.
Offer them a review, a health check, an opportunities analysis – whatever it takes to get in front of quality contacts to have the opportunity to learn about them, their challenges and their needs.
You’ll get business opportunities, find new ways to serve them and you’ll get referrals too, without even asking (if you deserve them of course!).
3. Email Them – in this day and age it still amazes me how few businesses take advantage of the ability to send Email Broadcasts using a low-cost email system such as NewZapp, Constant Contact or Mail Chimp.
Used correctly this technology allows you to deliver high quality content and sales messages inexpensively, quickly and with fantastic results (and feedback).
Emailing your list on a regular basis will flush out new business from old clients and contacts, you just need to create a high quality communications plan and email schedule.
You can do this for less than £100 per month (in most cases) and it can yield tens of thousands in additional revenue.
This is a great way to get more from your existing clients, lapsed clients and ‘dead’ or unconverted prospects.
4. Christmas Cards – it’s old, it’s low-tech and it can make a difference.
It’s another excuse/reason to be in touch with your list and every touch counts towards developing and maintaining ‘top of mind awareness’, which is turn increases your chances of getting the call or email with an opportunity to create a proposal for new business, or to stimulate a referral.
5. Birthday Cards – not every business can or does collect this date from clients and contacts.
But some do in the course of delivering their basic service (Dentists, Accountants and Insurance Brokers to name a few).
And if you do, what a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and make a meaningful contact!
If you don’t collect people’s birthdays then send it on another birthday – the anniversary of the day the client bought a car from you, first used your gym, began their support contract or their pet’s birthday (if you’re a vet that is – otherwise this is just weird!).
6. ‘Client Only’ Events – add some amazing value by using the expertise and knowledge of your team and suppliers to create a valuable seminar, training session or new product launch event.
Make it available only to clients, old clients and your old (but unconverted) enquiries and get busy inviting people to come along. Make it fun as well – have a BBQ, offer prizes and run competitions, give them a gift for coming and the take up rate will soar.
Promote it with your email broadcasting system, direct mail, phone calls and personal invitations.
This is a great way to make contact with your lists – even with the people who can’t or don’t want to attend.
You are still communicating with them and that may result in a meeting being set up, a referral or an opportunity to quote for some new work.
7. Magic Moments – find an excuse to do something fun and nice AND unexpected for your contacts.
One client adds a small packets of chocolate eggs to each delivery running up to Easter, another bulk buys and sends new books (and relevant books) to their clients, yet another has one of the directors visit after the sale is complete to check that the client is happy.
You could send a thank you card or letter for all new orders from new clients, you could send a box of chocolates to existing clients on the anniversary of their first order or you could send a gift voucher as a thank you for the referrals you get.
These unexpected, ‘out of the blue’ magic moments can really make a difference and can unlock a stream of new orders and business.
8. A Contact System – most of the things I have described above are ‘events’ – one off things.
Each is valuable is their own right, but the real power comes when you plan the client and prospect experience as a process or system.
Sit down with a spreadsheet or piece of paper, and map out what you will do to prospects and then to clients over the next 12 months.
You could for example plan 6 newsletters, 2 client events, a Christmas card, first order anniversary gift, 2 temperature check phone calls and a client visit.
That would be a very robust plan to help you get the most from your existing high value clients and prospects.
You could have a ‘light’ version for the lower value people on your list – perhaps dropping the client visit.
9. A Referral System – if you are worthy of referrals (if you delight your clients) then a referral system could create a flood of new leads for your business.
These work great when your business is ‘referral worthy’ and badly or not at all when you are not. But if you get referrals already, and don’t have a system – you’re letting yourself down. Big style.
10. Client Reactiviation – could you create and send a voucher that clients and prospects can use towards a new purchase?
Not for a % off, but for a specific value (a specific value works better than a % off) with a few conditions that protect you – a minimum order value for example?
You could also add an expiry date to create the ‘hot potato’ effect and stimulate sales within a specific time frame.
Now, we are absolutely NOT saying that you should stop looking for new clients.
Of course you should keep winning new business from new clients. You must.
But, just not to the exclusion of putting in place systems to win new business from old clients and contacts.