While you must grow to survive, optimize your existing relationships to thrive.
What does it cost you to acquire a new client? Most companies don’t track this metric. Yet, we’re not talking about most companies, we are talking about your efforts. When was the last time you hit the streets and tried to gain traction with new prospects or in a new market? It’s difficult.
Sales is a process of jumping through multiple hoops to attain a small window for making an impression that could possibly, just maybe, lead to a sales opportunity.
What are some of the obstacles to new client acquisition?
Six keys to new client acquisition for small businesses:
Unlocking the profitability of client retention as an entrepreneur.
Customer acquisition requires heavy investments of time and resources in repeated doses. If you aren’t tracking your efforts at an individual level then you are cutting yourself short of valuable data that will help you to improve your process. If you aren’t discussing wins and losses as a team then you are missing opportunities to help each other shorten the learning curve. You need to be intentional about tracking your efforts to acquire new clients so that you can adapt and achieve your goals.
While you must acquire new clients to grow your business, don’t forget to double down on your customer engagement and retention endeavors. According to Studio 15 CEO Jia Wertz, who sites, in her Forbes article, a study by Bain & Company, “Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.” Developing simple, yet intentional, client engagement and retention measures can pay significant returns for your team. Simple and yet overlooked. Jia has some great recommendations, which include:
Four keys to a better return on your client engagement efforts:
Tips for better returns on your marketing investments.
Client acquisition is at least five times more expensive than optimizing existing customer relationships. When you operate from a collaborative position, you can find ways to build stronger relationships with your team, clients and partners. Jia shares some insight from another business leader, President of Suite 203 Communications, Lauren Cracower who shares how to win-win-win in caring for a client. “To nurture your existing clients, it’s important to be a connector for them. We always strive to strategically align our clients to suppliers, contacts or other great businesses that can help them achieve their goals.”
Connect. Collaborate. Conquer.
If you have a prospective client that you would like to get to know, coffee is a great neutral ground (pun).
Most people like coffee and if your client doesn’t like coffee that should be reason enough to move along.
So, how do you do it? How do you get millions of dollars in new business by simply buying someone an overpriced cup-of-Joe?
With our proven multi-step process you will improve your close ratio by fractions of a percent - and there’s more.
Step 1: To getting more coffee client appointments
Keep it simple. Funny enough, early in my career I thought it was important to share my resume in a conversational email.
Using my background in criminal justice, I deduced that most people were indifferent to my impressive list of marginal accomplishments.
I further gathered that there was a direct relationship between the length of the email and the rejection rate of my requests.
Keep your request simple. If people are interested they will look you up on LinkedIn or ask around. You don’t need to tell them your life story or make an impassioned pleas for why they should choose contestant number 3.
Step 2: For achieving higher success rates in client prospecting with coffee
Be specific. Rather than an open ended invite to coffee at a place of their choosing at some future date, pick a place and a time.
It may seem intrusive to invite Jane Doe to the Bestest Java on Wednesday at 930 AM but I believe it is actually quite polite.
By providing a place and time you aren’t wasting their time searching the whole of their calendar and thinking through when would be best for them.
You also increase the probability that they actually check their calendar. “Is it even possible for me, Jane Doe, to meet at the Bestest Java on Wednesday at 930 AM?” It simplifies the process.
They can say yes.
They can say no.
Or they can say, "Actually Thursday at 830 AM would be better."
Additional Tips: For guaranteed improvements to your client coffee outreach
I promised there would be more. Here it is.
1. Most people like to try new things.
If there is a new place use that as a reason to invite them.
2. Experiment with taste and location.
If your prospect has a specific coffee taste, using a specific place may allow them to suggest a different location. I have some people who like Fast food chain coffee and others who stick with the known names. There have been plenty of times when when clients have said, “I’ve never been there.”
3. If they can’t find the time, offer to bring coffee to them and/or their team.
When you get your coffee meet up on the books, do as much research as you can to enable you to make an initial impression. Don’t over do it but come prepared. It is polite, professional and effective to know some basics about your prospect.
4. Make it about them.
If this is an initial invite you should plan to keep things primarily personal, get to know the person and work to earn their trust. Most people want to have a sense of whether they know, like and trust you before they will do business.
5. Ask questions and get them talking.
This is both polite and Sales 101. It is ok to go the whole meeting and not talk about yourself. Typically if you are genuinely interested there will come an opportunity where your guest will ask you, “So, what is it that you do?”
6. Be prepared to respond.
Practice makes perfect. Whether you are new to sales or meeting a client for the first time. Do some base level research as well as some role play in how you think the conversation might go. Be prepared to keep it light but never be caught off guard if the client is ready to dig into the business relationship. If you work through scenarios prior to the meeting you will be better prepared to seem confident rather than desperate when the time comes to discuss your products and/or services.
Don't forget to thank us when you increase your close rate on client coffee meetings
When inviting another professional to coffee - keep it simple, don’t waste time, be specific and be genuine. I’ll guarantee that this is more effective than being complicated, wasting time, being generic and doing the typical sales routine.
If you haven’t increased your close ratio by fractions of a percent, we will give you your money back.
Let us know if you’ve had 10’s of more coffee appointments by using these ultra secret steps to maximum success.
Interested in business and leadership concepts presented in a comic strip style format? You may find some encouragement in our latest series The Modern Leader: Loyalty, a four page presentation of perspectives on how to compete in the modern workplace. When leaders embrace the challenges of an ever evolving modern working environment they can win internally (workplace) as well as externally (marketplace).
Let us help you build and execute a plan for achieving success in your personal and professional development.
Jon Isaacson has a monthly feature column with Restoration & Remediation (R&R) Magazine titled The Intentional Restorer