May 4, 2010
You know the kinds of clients you want. So why not take some action to acquire them. How to Find and Approach Potential New Clients is not so difficult as the following article explains
Start by making a list of businesses you would like to have as clients.
Then decide who within the business you want to contact. This might depend on the position they hold, for example they might be the owner or CEO.
Or perhaps it is the sales manager, HR Director or training manager.
People prefer to do business with people they know or have links with so establishing a link between you is the next step. So ask the people you know if they know the person you want to contact. Often referred to as using your network there is nothing magic about this process, it is just about finding someone to introduce you. If you find such a person ask them if they would be willing to introduce you via e-mail or a phone call.
Alternatively look on the business networking sites and see if someone you know is linked to the person you want to contact .. or see if you are in the same groups as the person you want to contact. The thing is people respond more positively to an approach from someone they have a connection to .. however tenuous the connection.
If you aren't able to find someone who can introduce you, you can still approach companies without resorting to cold calling. Begin by finding out the names of the people you want to contact (call the company and ask for the name, look on their website or just Google them).
Then you can email them with your proposition or alternatively send them a personal letter via the mail. So few of us receive hard copy mail that it will be read.
In your letter or email briefly introduce yourself by telling them how you are connected. Mention your offer in terms of benefits e.g. this will reduce your costs and then promise to call them to discuss it further.
So when you call as promised you can get past the “gatekeeper” because you promised to call; and it isn’t a cold call because they are expecting your call.
This process makes your call a warm call. You task is simply to check if they received your message and to ask if it was of interest to them. Using my example of reducing their costs it is unlikely you will find many people that say they are not interested in saving money!
Although a little cheeky this really does work extremely well . I’ve recently just used it myself and have achieved a 50% success rate in getting meetings arranged. In the past I’ve managed a 96% success rate .. but of course this depends on your offer and how well you have chosen the people to call.
And remember No doesn’t always mean No! If they are interested but not ready to proceed at that time you still have several options.
First, ask them if they would like you to call back in , say, a month’s time. If yes, then put it in your calendar and do it.
Secondly, if you have a newsletter with valuable information, you
can ask them if they'd like to receive it.
Thirdly, if they are not interested but you feel a positive vibe, you can ask them if they know one person who may be interested in what you are offering.
Why only one? Because if you ask them if they know 'anyone' who might be interested in your offer they will rarely come up with a name. It is just we way we all behave: a psychological barrier comes up and no name is forthcoming.
But, if you ask for just one persons name for a specific offer, it's much easier for them to think of someone they know.
Just don’t commit the cardinal sin of not thanking them. In fact put your thanks in writing with a thank you email or preferably a letter. It looks like you have valued their help and taken time to say thank you.