To successfully find new clients and grow a steady flow of clients for your products and services, you’ll need a hard-working prospecting program that reaches out to qualified prospects and moves them through the sales cycle from cold to warm to hot and finally into paying clients. Your program must incorporate a range of marketing tactics that, over time, bring prospects incrementally closer to a decision to hire you.
While it’s true that networking, referrals, and other relationship-oriented marketing strategies are superior ways to build a professional services business in the long run. However thereality is that it takes time to build a network, nurture individual relationships and generate referrals and if you’re new in business or your pipeline has dried up, you may not feel as if you can wait for those budding relationships to mature.
One of the questions I’m asked the most by my clients is, “What is the quickest way to build my prospect list?”
My answer is, find someone who’s already reaching your target market in large numbers, and use THEM to build your list!
The dictionary defines the verb prospect as “to search or explore (a region), as for gold.” When you prospect for clients, you explore your region—your town, your market or niche—to locate the gold that may be buried right under your nose.
It’s a good bet that there are prospective clients all around you. You just need to identify them and get in touch with them. Launching a prospecting campaign can produce great results in generating new clients.
So to help you on, I have put together a step by step remedy to grow your prospect list for marketing.
STEP 1: Determine exactly who your ideal client or customer is.
The more expressive you can be here, the better it is. For example, don’t just think “men”. Think “men ages 25-40 who like sports and working out”. Don’t just think “small business owners”. Think “women owners of professional service businesses that do less than £1 million a year”.
Can you take on clients or customers who fall outside of this description?
Of course! But you need to know who are the best clients that you’re going after.
Example: About six years ago, I spent a romantic summer week in Florida. But before we returned home there was one thing we definitely wanted to do at least once – go dolphin watching!
Now, I figured we could go on any boat with any captain and do this. But no … our hotel receptionist told us that if we want to see dolphins for sure, then we must go with “Captain Sam the Dolphin Man”. Sam took us on his special boat to this special place off the sea where the Dolphins were, and we even used special bait that the dolphins liked to attract them. And we had great success – soon a bunch of dolphins were jumping around us!
If you know exactly what you’re going after, and you know where they hang out, and understand what they like, then you’re much more likely to get your wish. The same goes for reaching your target market.
STEP 2: Find other people, companies, or websites that are ALREADY reaching to your target market in mass.
Sit down with a cup of coffee this weekend and do some online research regarding your target market.
- What sites are they already visiting?
- What newsletters or magazines do they already read?
- What TV or Radio Channels they listen to?
- Who are the key players and thought leaders in that niche?
Come up with a list of your top five places that they gather in mass for example the top five websites or companies that are already reaching your ideal client or customer.
For example, if your target market is Ghanaian teacher you can consider;
- Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT)
- Universities that offer teacher training
- Recruitment agencies that specialise in teacher recruitment
STEP 3: Reach out to the owners of these websites and organisations and see if they will:
REVIEW your book, products, services, newsletter or blog for their readers. If so, send them a review copy and follow up a week or two later. Request that when they run the review they mention your name or offer and direct people to your website to sign up.
Accept guest ARTICLES. If so, then submit one of your best posts, with a short bio that links people back to your website to sign up for your email list.
SWAP ads or recommendations for each other’s websites, products, or services. If you have a newsletter that reaches the same target market they want to reach, this is a great win-win.
Do a CO-REGISTRATION deal. If you already have a good amount of email subscribers and website traffic, they may be open to adding your newsletter to their own signup form if you do the same on your part. (Ideally, folks should just check a box to subscribe to the additional newsletter automatically.)
Run a recommendation or ad in exchange for a COMMISSION on resulting sales. For example, you give them the ad to run, tagged with a link that lets you know if any sales come from it. (This is easy to do if you have an online affiliate program)
Accept PAID advertising. Banner ads, text ads, and other paid placements obviously cost you money, but if it’s your only option and you really want to reach these folks, go for it. But be sure to track your results so you can see if it’s working. (You’ll need a link tracking application or a tracking number to do this.)
These are just a FEW ideas to get you started, but there are more things that you can do. Click here to read 25 Ways to Grow Your Prospect List to accelerate your marketing today.
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“Shiva Attah, founder of Winners Solutions, mentors thousands of entrepreneur around the world on how to grow a winning business that makes millions in profit and creates a positive impact.
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