Everyone has a type of client that they work best with. Sometimes we’re afraid to talk to them because we’re worried about scaring other people off.
But the world is a noisy place. To get noticed you need to focus.
If you were in a crowded car park and someone was yelling “hey” you might look round then move on. If they shouted “you in the green jacket” you might pay a bit more attention. But if they shout “Baz!” you’re going to think they’re talking to you (assuming you’re called Baz).
So don’t try to target “small business owners”. The US Small Business Association has companies up to $25m/year. In the U.K. a company with 249 employees is a small business.
That manufacturing firm with a factory and 150 employees is a very different place to the woman who works from her kitchen table who is very different to that family business with 45 subcontractors around the country.
All “small businesses”, very different problems.
If you want your potential clients to notice you, you need to be more specific. Understand who they are and what problem they have. Talk about them and they will feel like you’re yelling their name across that car park.
I used to think I was too shy and quiet to get clients. “Sales types” were all loud and brash and that’s just not me.
But attracting new clients isn’t about being an extrovert.
Your client has requirements and motivations.
Understand those requirements, show that you can handle them and the risks associated with them and then make them an offer that is worth their while. It doesn’t matter how shy you are.
So sales becomes a step by step process.
what do they want?
why do they want it?
how will we measure progress?
what impact will it have on their business?
what could go wrong?
what would be a fair price for the results were going to achieve?
Put all those things together and you’ve got a new client. No brash loudmouth in sight.
There’s always the unexpected. There’s always stuff that will take you by surprise. But the vast majority of what you need to build a reliable business is consistently following the right steps and ensuring you stick with it.