HOW TO FIND CLIENTS
When I ask business owners what their biggest challenge is, the resounding answer is ‘finding clients’.
I can totally relate.
Being in the ‘finding clients’ and ‘why aren’t I winning work’ mode is so demotivating – and the irony is, the deeper we go in the ‘finding’ cycle the less we seem to find them!
Being in this demotivated and desperate client-hunting state spells danger for you and your business, so it’s time to FLIP THE SCRIPT!
Desperation stinks – it repels your ideal client and leaves you feeling lost and alone in the big business world.
Think about the ice-cream van man.
He drives around the neighbourhood playing a happy tune and everyone grabs their money and runs outside, suddenly desperate for a choc-ice and clamouring to buy.
Now imagine the ice cream van man didn’t have a jingle or a van. He walks from door to door with a tub of ice cream offering you a bargain knock-down deal on the latest greatest ice cream.
Are you still gonna salivate and hand your money over to no-van-man?
THAT is the fundamental difference between PUSH and PULL marketing, between SALE and NO SALE if you will.
This is when the ice-cream man goes knocks on your front door, giving you the hard-sell, offering you bargains, showing you every flavour of ice cream he has.
He tells you he won’t be back tomorrow, this is your last chance to buy an ice cream, and the forecast for the afternoon is HOT HOT HOT.
You haven’t asked for this man to knock on your door. You weren’t particularly in the mood for ice cream. I mean, he hasn’t even asked if you like ice cream!
His PUSHY sales tactics are making you feel a bit sweaty and uncomfortable and, to be honest, you wish you could just get rid of him and close the door.
That’s Push Marketing – it’s when we are being sold to.
We can sense it a mile off and, even if we actually do quite fancy a choc-ice, our fight or flight instincts scream at us to run away, so we close the door and the no-van-man makes No Sale.
The ice cream man stays in his van, puts his happy jingle on full blast, and simply drives slowly around your neighbourhood.
He doesn’t have a sales patter, in fact he doesn’t say anything at all about selling ice cream – he just calmly drives around knowing that his message is being received by his ideal audience and all the kids in the neighbourhood are gonna suddenly, overwhelmingly, want an ice-cream.
The kids beg and plead until money is handed over or everyone heads outside to Buy Buy Buy.
He hasn’t made any sales – his audience have sold THEMSELVES.
By him simply being there, going about his business, he has PULLED his audience to him.
AND…everyone is happy.
No-one feels conned or swindled.
The ice-cream dude is happy he’s stayed in his van playing his jingle. The kids are happy they managed to catch him and buy an ice cream. It’s all win win.
So…how does this relate to business? How can you become the ice-cream van-man who calmly shares your message and your audience flock to you?
It all comes down to KNOW, LIKE, TRUST, BUY.
Your audience (and ideal clients), need to get to know you. And this can take a bit of time.
I’m sure the very first time the ice-cream van left the factory and drove down a street no-one knew what was going on. But over time everyone comes to recognise the jingle and associate it with delicious ice cream.
Get to KNOW your audience. Help them get to KNOW you.
When they share something let them know you are listening by liking, thoughtfully commenting, sharing.
Add as much value to them as you can by sharing your knowledge and expertise with them.
It’s time to drop the game-playing and just show-up, be present, form relationships.
Don’t skip this step. This is the very basis of your business AND knowing your audience and having them know you makes everything way more fun!
The fact of the matter is, we just don’t gel with EVERYONE we meet, and that’s okay.
The good news is, there are LOADS of people we meet who we do gel with and it’s much like this with your audience.
As you get to know each other, there’ll be people who like you and people who aren’t really on your wavelength.
Don’t change your message, don’t put all your efforts into winning over people who aren’t ever gonna like you.
Keep showing-up. Keep getting to know your audience. Keep sharing real value. Keep nurturing the relationships with the people who get your vibe.
When your audience start to like you, when they start to realise you like them and actually care about them, when they realise you share loads of interesting stuff that helps them, they will become LOYAL.
This is where business is BUILT – once you have a loyal following things really start to accelerate.
STAY AWARE though…don’t be tempted to get out of your ice-cream van and start selling. Your audience know and like you, they know who you are and what you do. They are watching, listening, learning, waiting. Don’t rush them.
Once you’ve got to know and like each other, trust starts to build.
Again, this takes time, patience and a whole bunch of CONSISTENCY.
The ice-cream van-man can’t show-up empty handed with no delicious ice-cream all of a sudden, we’ll start to doubt him and next time he turns up we may not bother grabbing the purse!
Show-up consistently, let them know you are there, supporting them and wanting to help. Share stuff they find useful. Let them see who you really are. Share stuff other people say about you so they can start to build TRUST in who you are and what you have to offer.
As more of your loyal audience TRUST you, they will start to approach you asking how you can work together. You’ll start seeing DMs and messages asking for more information, for links, for details on your offer.
Even now, DON’T SELL.
Respect their intelligence enough to know that, if what you are doing is right for them, they’ll make the purchase and become your clients.
Even when you have spent time building know, like, and trust, if you blaze in with the hard sell you’ll repel them and undo all your good work.
When they are ready to buy, it’s a conversation. It’s about connection, and a sharing of information.
There is no need for pushy sales tactics.
Be there when they are ready.
Build your offer to cram in as much value as you possibly can. Create packages and courses and programmes that you KNOW will deliver above and beyond all expectations.
Have faith that your ideal client will see this and THAT’s how they’ll make THEIR decision.
Once they’ve made the buying decision, CELEBRATE it with them! It’s a mutual value exchange and everyone should be happy that your relationship is moving to the next level and they are about to get world-class value from working with you.
BE THE ICE CREAM VAN MAN!