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How to Target New Clients

Last updated February 11, 2014
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Since starting your business you've been acquiring clients, some profitable others not. Some nice to do business with, others, well you know what I mean…..

In the early days of any business the general philosophy for business owners is ‘any customer is a good one’. But as time moves on not all of those clients are worthy of the title ‘good client’. But what you do have is some ‘good clients’ at the top of your list – the cream on the top of the milk. Pareto says that the top 20% of your clients will generate 80% of your profit so surely if you could find more of the 20% type of client your business would get better, grow and expand, wouldn’t it?

We all spend a lot of time at work, so it’s great to work for clients that you like; they respect you, pay you on time and value the contribution that you make to their business.

So when it comes time to expand your business and acquire new clients you want to make sure that you find the right clients and that the right clients find you! So, you’ll need to have a plan.

Firstly, pull off a list of all of your clients and critically review the ‘good clients’, those in the top 20%. What is it about them that makes them a good client for you?

Secondly ask yourself if you have a cluster of similar type businesses? If so this is your niche, a small defined group of clients where you can develop a ‘specialist’ status. This is your difference and what you need to exploit.

I recently worked with a bookkeeper who wanted more clients, and she already worked for many dentists. She understood how the dental practices worked, what level of support they would need, how much it would cost the dentist and the resource that the bookkeeper had to have in place. This is what we did.

  1. First stop the yellow pages for the geographical areas that she wanted to work in
  2. We made a list of every dental practice, and prioritised them for potential
  3. We split the list into several chunks of 10 dentists at a time
  4. Taking the first batch of dentists we called them to find out who was responsible for accounts.
  5. Next we dispatched a snail mail letter addressed to the right person which included the pitch and a call to action such as ‘call us to book a free consultation’. We also included a note to say that we would call later to ‘discuss their requirements’. Snail mail is a little more work and cost but very effective now as just about everyone has reverted to email marketing. You need to be different. We positioned the bookkeeper as a ‘specialist bookkeeper for dentists’.
  6. When you call, have your dates ready to offer them, remembering that this might have to be before or after their surgery hours. Make a booking, turn up and sell.
  7. Now reflect on your campaign, what worked and what didn’t? What do you need to change for the next batch?

You might just hit the jackpot on the first attempt, so do not send out hundreds of letters or emails. You won’t be able to follow them all up in time. What would you do if every dentist you approached called you to say they wanted you to do their books?

Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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