You'll want to know how to get clients if you're interested in going into business for yourself, or if you're in charge of finding people to buy your company's goods or services. Luckily, it's not a very complicated process, although it can take a lot of time and patience to implement correctly.
- Define your brand. In order to get clients, you'll first need to know exactly what you have to give them. Do you offer virtual networking? High-end fashion designs? Slow food? You can communicate your brand with a motto, a mission statement, a business plan, or a tagline, but whatever you do, make sure that you focus on the benefits that your clients will receive from doing business with you.
Create an elevator pitch. In the real world you might only have thirty seconds to pitch to a potential client. You need to be able to succinctly describe the benefits of your products in this amount of time. Once you grab their attention, you can then go into more detail.
- Go where the people are. You'll never figure out how to get clients unless you practice. If it suits your needs, you can attend an industry specific conference or tradeshow. You can also "go where the people are" in a virtual sense by spending time on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc.
- Put yourself out there. It's no good surrounding yourself with potential clients unless you're willing to put yourself out there. You'll never get clients if you stand in a corner by yourself (literally or figuratively speaking). Sure, you stand a chance of getting rejected if you talk to people about your products and services, but if you never risk rejection you'll never succeed. The more people you connect with, the greater your chance of success.
- Go for the soft sell. It's difficult to get clients when everyone you meet is bombarded by advertising messages hundreds of times daily. People get overwhelmed by all the marketing chatter, and start to tune it out. Even if they really want or need your products, they will be instantly turned off if you push too hard. Instead of trying to get your products sold as soon as you meet someone, go for the "many touches approach." Build a relationship with the potential client by frequently reminding them of your products or services in a gentle way.
- Stay in touch. It's been said that it takes at least six interactions with your product, service or brand before a client is willing to buy. Keep the potential client interested by e-mailing them, following them on Twitter, inviting them to events, and calling them. However, try not to cross the line between being persuasive and being annoying.
- Never give up hope. It may take days, weeks, or years for a potential client to make up his or her mind. Persistence is the only thing that will allow you to get clients time after time.