This is your Biggest Pain Point – “Where Do I Get Clients?”
It may seem obvious, but to get clients, you have to find them. And how can you find them if you don’t know ‘who’ they are.
Doesn’t it make sense to identify the characteristics of your ideal client?
In other words, instead of being willing to work with anyone, getting clear about who you want to work with.
Demographics and Psychographics
You may have heard these terms, and may have a cursory understanding of what they mean, but until you get really clear about who you want to work with, you’ll have difficulty finding them.
Wanting to work with everyone, doesn’t help you find out where they are… let’s face it, everyone is everywhere, and you’re back to where you started.
I know this first hand. When I started looking for clients, I thought ‘everyone could benefit from what I offer‘ so I tried talking to everyone and anyone who would listen. And when I got their business card, I called them relentlessly trying to convince them to work with me.
That didn’t work out so well, as more than a few people, asked me NOT to call them again. It seems I harassed people in my quest to ‘help them.’
But then I started thinking about who would really benefit from what I offered. Since my early coaching offering was similar to what I do now, just not as sophisticated and developed, it didn’t make sense to work with most ‘corporate people.’
You see, I help people turn their vision into a profitable, sustainable and growing business endeavor. In the early days, my logo was “turning your ideas into gold.”
And since I was charging $500 per month, employees didn’t see the value (unless their company was paying for it), but coaches, consultants and other professionals did.
You see, I helped my prospects see the value of working with me. When I help them turn their $10,000 per month business into a $20,000, $50,000 or over $100,000 per month business, my fee more than paid for itself.
Back to the employee. They made a salary, and I quickly realized they looked at my fee as yet another expense. And the only ‘potential’ benefit they could see was a possible promotion (raise of maybe 3%) within a year.
(*Note: This doesn’t apply if their employer was paying, or they were in a sales or other commission-related position).
This realization caused me to get clearer about what kind of clients I actively pursue, and those I don’t. It caused me to get clear about my customer profile.
Demographics relate to the slice of the population your prospect fits into. It can include income, profession, marital status, age, and race.
Example: Mary, life coach, married, two kids, 42 years old, husband works full time for Fortune 500 company earning $250,000… Mary earns $30,000 per year from coaching.
Psychographics related to the personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles of your ideal client.
Example; Mary is passionate about helping people, values honesty and generosity. Has resistance to sales and marketing activities though intellectually knows their important. She has read books by Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay and has attended multiple personal development seminars.
Can you see how much easier it would be to find “Mary”?
But, you might be wondering…
Where are they?
(Hard to do when you’re not sure who they are…)
- Now that you know who “Mary” is, you can ask the obvious questions.
- Where would she hang out?
- Who do they follow on Facebook?
- What hobbies and other activities is she interested in?
- What books does she read? Podcasts listened to?
Do I have to go to networking events? I hate them…
Here is where you might be worried about networking events. Hey, if you like to go to events where ‘Mary’ hangs out, go for it, mix & mingle and speak to her there. As for me, I’m not much of a networking guy, I’d rather use online advertising to introduce myself to ‘Mary’ when she’s ready, and invite her to learn more.
Do I have to get business card?
I haven’t carried a business card for 10 years. Let me tell you why. When I left the US Marines, I joined a Fortune 500 company. My job was to start and grow a business unit. Remembering my college training, I figured I’d go around and hand out business cards and brochures, and companies interested would call me with business. Basically, the “Easy button” without the button.
Boy, was I wrong. When I asked for brochures, they laughed and said they were a waste of money. My job was to build a relationship with the prospect, understand their situation, articulate their problem, and then offer the appropriate solution from my company toolbox.
That’s your job too!
I look at business cards the same way. Too many coaches and consultants hand out business cards ‘hoping’ they’ll be called in a few days. The only thing that happens is disappointment the phone doesn’t ring.
I don’t have a business card BUT…and this is a big BUT, I do collect them. The moment I receive YOUR business card, I can now follow up with you based on our conversation. I control the interaction, no more wondering and hoping for a phone call.
This simple practice forces me to LISTEN to the person I’m speaking with… I mean truly listen so I can repeat back to them their issue, and then provide a solution.
Sometimes the solution is NOT me!
Honestly, I don't want to work with everyone. I'm selective. And sometimes they may be looking for an accountant, or to hire an operations manager or something outside my expertise. By having their business card, I can quickly follow up and make introductions when appropriate.
I coach and consult companies because I like helping people build sustainable businesses that grow with their abilities. Not everyone I meet needs this.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not spending a lot of time connecting people, but I'll make an introduction and then ask to be removed from further correspondence. I've built goodwill with two other people, and I feel good about helping others.
So, you've found 'Mary', you're actually speaking to her (either in-person, online, on the phone), what you say next is critical...
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