Treat Prospective Clients Like a Future Spouse or Friend
Getting clients is (not) picking up girls…
After spending some time discovering, understanding, and applying solid principles of any good methodology, you notice they are actually quite familiar and also very simple, at the same time. As with anything of value that lasts, they require a FOUNDATION and some ONGOING attention.
If you are looking for clients and struggle to convert and retain them, remember what you’ve learned from seeking a life partner or friend, for that matter. Sure, it’s easy to meet people, strike up a conversation, have some fun, and move on. Any relationship that lasts requires time. You know something about each other. You share something that differentiates you from everyone else. You have some common interests. You keep in touch. At some point, they know, like, and trust you, and the relationship has a reason to continue over time. This means you can do more stuff together that you probably wouldn’t do on the first, second, third, or 10th interaction.
You’re more likely to find a lasting relationship if you know what they’re like. If you live in The City and don’t like country things, it probably doesn’t make sense to find that special person on a farm. Similarly, you wouldn’t seek someone in a retirement home if you want to start a family. You have a PROFILE of the person with whom you want to connect. This same process applies to finding a prospective client. You need to define the demographic, the psychographic, the title/position, the industry, the location, the revenue, the maturity. It’s no different than finding the right person. You’ll know when you come across it.
At some point, you need to POSITION yourself to that prospect. It might work to walk up to them and just ask them if they want to do something, but that’s less likely to last. Wouldn’t it make more sense to somehow differentiate yourself from everybody else? What makes you special? Better yet, how do they know you’re special? Now, some people are fortunate and have special differentiators. A-listers, billionaires, models, Nobel prize winners, and professional athletes come to mind. Good luck with that. If you plan on having a lifetime relationship, you’ll probably spend considerable time demonstrating how you’re different and why you deserve their attention. You build some level of authority and are a leader to them…somehow.
Unfortunately, not every ‘attempt’ (even with time) pans out. You have to play the numbers and PROSPECT. This isn’t Andy Griffith, where you can just pick up girls and see how much they weigh. You might have to properly introduce yourself. Maybe meet a couple times. Learn something about each other. Have coffee. Go somewhere they like to go. Meet the parents. Make sense? You need to understand where they hang out and you might even need to meet more than one such person.
Let’s pretend for a moment we’re talking about friends here. We all have best friends, but things happen in life where even best friends move. It’s a good idea to have some other friends. This requires time and attention to CONNECT and BUILD the DATABASE of prospects. All of this foundation is regular and ongoing. In a business, it doesn’t stop until you exit.
Now that you have your foundation, you have to keep the relationship. You want the prospect to know, like, and trust you, so that they will pick up the phone when you call them. MESSAGING never stops in a relationship. You’ll always have communication to reinforce that trusted connection.
While it may not be as simple as ‘picking up girls’, it is as easy as:
Profiling, Positioning, Prospecting, Connecting, Messaging