When it comes to growing your business, Get Out of Your Comfort Zone.
Over the past 30 years, I have heard so many times, “I can’t get any new clients”. Well, the simple truth is that your competitors can. WHY? THEY PLAN. I won’t sugar coat it. In excess of 80% of people who start a business do not have a solid marketing and growth plan. That’s a major part of why seven out of every 10 businesses fail.
So here are 5 simple rules for you BUT you MUST do all of them to succeed, don’t just pick the easy ones so… Get Out of Your Comfort Zone.
Rule 1: Expand your customer base
If you’re having trouble expanding your customer base, you may be inadvertently narrowing your focus, and with that, missing the mark with potential new customers. Yes, you know a few people but they don’t all want to deal with you. They prefer to keep their issues separate from your friendship. Yes, you feel you work hard to get new clients. Then, when you do, you stop marketing!!
Your plan MUST have you spending at least 20% of your time doing active marketing for new clients – YES, CONSTANTLY. This doesn’t sound like what you wanted to do, right? Well, it is part of being in business and if you want to stay in business you must constantly be looking for and attaining new clients. The simple reason being that your current ones won’t stay with you forever.
Rule 2: Market your business
If you are marketing your business in the same way that you always have, it’s no surprise that you will have trouble reaching new customers, as you will only be reaching the same audience. Each month try just one different thing. Some suggestions are:
A) Leave a brochure in the clinic stating:
“Free treatment for every time you refer someone and they have a treatment with us and they will also get a free treatment”.
Hell, you might be thinking, ‘I am giving away 2 treatments’. Well, how many treatments do you have to do to pay for an ad in the paper and are you guaranteed a new client from it?
B) Send out a flyer to all of your clients:
“Hi Joe (make sure you personalise it – otherwise they won’t feel compelled to do anything).
I just wanted to say – thank you for being one of my truly valued clients. As you know I work fairly hard and sadly don’t have enough time to do all the marketing I should to find a couple of new clients just like you. So, I wondered if you can help me by thinking about who could benefit from my services. If you think of anyone please just email or text me their name, address or contact number and I will offer them a free initial treatment because they came from you. Business can be hard but when I have nice clients like you it makes it really nice to be able to provide my services. See you again soon and again thanks for being such a nice client.”
Rule 3: Leverage off your existing network
Yes, we all hate to ask our current clients for referrals but there are many ways to do this without directly asking.
Rule 4: Build a ‘RELATIONSHIP MAP’
This is essential as no matter who you are, you will always work better with a profiled client. For example, male, 40-55 yrs, Senior management in an industrial type company. Then you start to draw a line or ‘map’ of who else you know that fits that particular profile. If you don’t know any more people, then simply ask your client by saying something like:
“Joe, I am working on my business relationship map and your business profile is perfect for me to work with. Can you kindly advise where I can find the names and addresses of people in a similar industry and career positions to yourself.”
Then create a map of how you will reach out to them and arrange to chat with them. Oh yes, you must chat and not wait for them to contact you. It’s simple. You, once again, profile people you want to provide your services to, ring their company and say that you have a personal email that you need to send. Can you please have his/her email address?
Rule 5: Newsletters
These can work for many reasons. They keep you at the forefront of current clients’ minds BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, they can create new clients for you. Many people ask what do I put into the newsletters? Education. Yes, education. You might think this won’t be interesting, but it is if it is written in common language not full of technical or industry-type words.
Do not include great selling offers. Make it a discreet offer at the end. Something like: “Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit more about my profession. If it is of help to you please call me to discuss any issues you have or that you feel I may be able to help you with.”
When it comes to reaching new customers, what strategies have you put in place?