Prospecting for Business – Winning new customers

Expert AdviceMany consultants I have worked with have asked me for the same things; How do I get good clients and how can I stand out from the competition whilst developing more business?

The answer is get out and in front of prospect clients as often as you can. Not only that, once you are out the office it is imperative you maximize your use of time.

Good clients are rarely good from the get go, they develop as time goes by during the building of the relationship. Meeting with clients cements this relationship further and quicker due to the level of trust that can be fostered. Meet as many hiring authorities as you can in one business on the same day and you have much more chance of finding that one of them becomes a client in the next few weeks! If you currently go out to see one contact at a company and then travel back, think again, whom else could you see in the same building on the same trip? It also makes it easier to get the next appointment!

“I’m already meeting with X, it would be rude of me not to drop off my business card and pop my head round the door. What time would be best to meet?”

Whilst you’re in the visiting frame of mind, look on your database and find out who in next door, across the road and on the same business park as the company you are visiting.

Before you know it, you could end up meeting with three or four contacts on the same day! A great use of time and resources.

Let’s now imagine that the meetings have taken place. You may have spent upwards of an hour getting there and face a similar return journey. Once you leave the clients’ premises take a look around you. Who else is on this estate? Take a picture of the map at the entrance with the names of all the companies to cross reference to your in house CRM system. Take a drive round, some of the offices and units you will see will be quite sizeable. There is certain to be more business on this business park than just the clients you went to see. Even these businesses, whom you did not get a chance to meet with represent an opportunity. Go in and see them on the spot! Yes! Go in and see them! What’s the worst that could happen? Personally, I did not get a great deal of mileage out of dragging company directors down into reception. I did, however, get a decent response from hand delivering business information. The information I used to put into an envelope included:

  • Candidate profiles for three to six hot candidates I am currently representing (single sheet profiles highlighting key skills and achievements).
  • Corporate literature (if you have to, rarely does anything with prospects)
  • My team of consultants specialisations and structure chart
  • Testimonials from clients and candidates
  • Business card

I would have a couple of dozen of these packs in the boot of my car and I would then go into each reception and ask the receptionist for the name of the relevant contact, write it on the front of the envelope and hand it to her to make sure they receive it. I would then ask for a compliment slip, write down the contact’s name and then leave! Once back at the office I would diarise to call the ones who hadn’t called me within a couple days to follow up. Who in the competition is currently doing anything like that? No one. Clients have inboxes full of speculative CVs everyday. Very little info, if any, gets delivered in the mail let alone by hand. Remember, in London (or any other major city) a business park could rise vertically as an office block!

Give it a go and see what results you produce. As usual, have fun with it and see you soon!

One Response

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  1. Useful and simple to understand.
    Gave me some points to think about and develop.

    Tushar Pal 10 August 2012 at 5:53 am Permalink

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