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Every business has at least a few universal challenges. In this article, we are focusing on two of those; gaining clients and to better retain them. Although some of these are “common sense” we all know practicing “common sense” is not always so common.
1. Properly Engage With Potential Clients
There is a very fine line between harassing individuals and piquing their interests. Most of our clients are out of my local area. I will be coming from engaging most clients remotely.
- The first contact via email should be very short. Not many details, maybe 1 or 2 sentences on average.
- Do not send more than 4 – 6 unsolicited emails to a person a year.
- Do not ask for work in the first contact email.
- However, there are some exceptions to the first email in a while. Sending a “hello we are open for work” is generally acceptable.
- If the individual you are targeting in your LinkedIn or professional group/mailing list then it is okay to email them with a “what we are doing” email.
There is a very fine line between harassing individuals and piquing their interests.
2. Know When to Politely Walk Away
Atlanta GA is a big co tech city. Meaning most of the technical companies are very large and often hire within. Also, the small businesses normally do not have a usable budget. So with limited opportunities, don’t waste your time if it is not a good fit.
- When we engage with a client face to face we have a 3 in-person meeting rule (online meetings are usually x2 of that). After that, it is considered consulting. And time is money.
- Most of our deals are done via over-the-phone or an online communication tool. Our clients generally know what they want. However, if the dollars do not add up where you are making a profit, it may be time to just walk away.
- We often have potential clients that ask “Can you do this for 100k? We know our rates are very fair and margins are tight. So don’t be so hungry you starve yourself out of existence. Walk away.
By walking away you have more time for real paying clients.
3. Present a Beneficial and Clear Solution
Start with understanding their pain and how it can be resolved. This sometimes requires brainstorming with the client.
Before presenting a specific solution just go over the general stuff (for example our white paper: www.isointeractive.com/pdf). Often during this review, the client will tell you what needs they have in more detail. Fix their pain. And if you can not do it, you should recommend someone that can.
Also, this is a big one; keep it as simple as possible. Adding every detail in a solution upfront is not beneficial. Don’t confuse the client.
Present very specific methods or solutions that are easy for the client to understand. At ISO Interactive we are like a ready-to-go team out of the box. We are daily and can scrum with the best of them.
Start with understanding their pain
4. Keep Relevant
If clients and potentials do not see you doing worthwhile things then they may not remember you. You want to be in the back of their mind in case anything potentially comes up.
It is good to have something new all the time. For us, this includes client projects, internal items, and other related activities.
We can show things off like a rebrand or business card design update, a new sexy company white paper, a fun project we are working on like our virtual world Wizard Spark Community. It can even be something we made that clients think is just cool. Like our LEGO Mini office. It is an office of our people working but in LEGOs and in a little box! It was also promoted on the UVIDEO portfolio.
5. Create Strong Partnerships
We have certain partners that are bigger than us. For example, we are one of the top smartfoxserver developer partners out there. They recommend us because we have a long history and they trust us.
As mentioned previously we did a cool UVIDEO piece and are now on their portfolio! It is free advertisement and a good partnership.
Other types of partnerships are also extremely useful. For example, finding a group to reduce your time finding potential clients and having a semi-automated system for prequalifications is so important. From your target market, extending your user/client base with the help of your current network, etc. See the full article for more details at http://www.isointeractive.com/blog/9-tips-to-get-more-clients/
Partners can recommend you.
6. Participate in Groups of Similar Interests
This one is pretty easy. Every social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…) has interests, tags or groups. So join them and add to the conversation. Actually, engage and reply to posts. Be useful and polite. Self-promoting means you are not listing. Sometimes you need a 2-way conversation to spark interest. Also, there are sites specifically designed for groups like meetup.com.
7. Use a Method to Vet Potential Clients
Many of the so-called clients that come your way are wasting your time. So I tried to put some basic rules together.
- Be polite no matter what. Well, try at least. If it is a kid, know he or she had the guts to ask you. You could be the one that inspires that person to do great things.
- Try to identify the individual by what they are asking. If they know exactly what they want they probably understand it costs money to build. Ask basic queries. Time launch date, specific features, project goals, and team size. Team size and launch dates give you some idea of potential budgets.
- If you are not the right fit due to your skill set or budget, suggest someone who can do the work.
- Identify the company that they are representing. Should be easy. Look at the email. Example: email@example.com has isointeractive.com at the end of it. That’s me by the way, I’m Troy – Hi!
- If the company wants a detailed proposal, review a project in detail, or run an audit or report, you charge them for it. After all, you are providing a sort of blueprint they can bid to others with.
- We were able to redevelop a client’s project for a reasonable amount. And it started with a paid audit. The client may end up trusting you after you have done an audit.
If you are able to vet clients in a timely manner then you know whom to deal with.
8. Have Case Studies and Testimonials Ready
If you take a good look at my website you notice I have a lot of modulated stuff in there. That means a lot of talking pieces you can shift around when needed.
They talk about a mobile app, we have several, and all in different programming languages with different purposes. They want to talk about a detailed website… See additional details at http://www.isointeractive.com/blog/9-tips-to-get-more-clients/ Now to be clear you do not want to talk that way lol. I was just shortcutting the conversation for the sake of time.
You only want to talk about the specifics that have to do with the client. But you can pick and choose when needed.
If the client is confident in your skills you are one step closer to close a deal.
9. Just Be Honest
Well, be as honest as you can, professionally.
- If you can’t do it, don’t say you can.
- If you do not have a good answer, tell the client that you don’t know but you will find out.
- Don’t suck up. Be professional. Sucking up is fake and that is definitely not honest. Clients see that a mile away.
- Clients appreciate a team and leader who can give him/her the facts (good or bad). It saves him money and frustration.
Be as honest as you can, professionally.
Reach Out Anytime (almost)
Please feel free to contact us to discuss or just to brainstorm. You can even schedule a meeting.
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