November 24, 2009
Do you spend most of your time looking for new, bigger and better clients? Are you looking in networking groups, through SEO, speaking engagements, cold calls and other avenues? Do you feel like a dog running on linoleum? A lot of movement but no progress?
While all of the above are important, I want you to consider the 80/20 rule. 80% of your time should be spent in contact with your current clients. Not only meeting their needs, but asking for referrals. Let your satisfied clients become your biggest advocates. 20% of your time can be used in finding new clients.
There is a marketing principle you should understand. Finding new clients is what’s called unknown to unknown - you don’t know them, they don’t know you. While you should spend time in this endeavor, your success rate will be much higher with known to known. That is, you know them and they know you, perhaps through one of your satisfied customers.
It could sound something like this:
YOU: Hey Joe, can I ask you why you hired us in the first place?
JOE: Your pricing was fair and you came highly recommended.
YOU: Thanks Joe. Did you receive anything from our company that surprised you? Maybe above an beyond your expectations?
JOE: I was pleasantly surprised with your responsiveness. You handled all our issues in a timely manner. I also liked how you really listened to us and focused on our needs.
YOU: Thank you Joe for the kind words. Can I ask you one final question?
YOU: Do you know anybody who could use a highly recommended, fairly priced service like ours that listens to their clients, is focused on meeting their needs and is very responsive?
Let your client become your advocate. As a consumer, I’d rather hear your clients say you are good rather than you say it. Your chance of closing the sale goes from 10% (cold call) to anywhere from 70% to 90% with the right kind of referral.
Now get out there and look good.
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