Last Friday, we talked about finding better clients. Today, I share several ways startups can find new clients that will be early adopters for their new products and services. When we’re done with today’s blog, you should be able to see there are many resources that can help you find great new clients at the early stages of your business.
Every year, I review the INC 500, Forbes 200, and E&Y Entrepreneur of Year contestants to find new clients. Since many of these businesses don’t appear in local lists of largest employers, you can help create a unique contribution to their growth. Several of these new clients have gone on to become multi-billion dollar organizations and I was able to grow as they grew. New clients appreciate the contribution you make to their organization and are willing to support you in growing, as well.
When I work with new clients, the first thing I do is help them identify their ideal client profile and then help develop products and services that work well in these potential clients. A unique twist one of my partners created was stretched out payments for organizations in high growth. It meant working closely with my clients’ CFOs and controllers and has paid out great dividends over my career.
The third way to get new clients is to invest in understanding how your clients’ businesses operate. If you are successful in doing the other things we’ve talked about, you will be able to create a profitable niche for your business. When I first went into retained search, one of my new clients wanted me to build an organization for them to address their needs for quality professionals. I suggested we would need to develop the knowledge required in this emerging profession. Our new client underwrote my learning curve and we were able to successfully add over 20 quality professionals in the first 12 months.
Because of this unique specialty, I was invited to work with Dr. W. Edward Deming and represent him here in the Midwest. This single practice and connection has generated millions of dollars in consulting and coaching fees over the years for me and my businesses.
Finally, learn to be more provocative in how you share your ideas. Get good at sharing a different view of the world. My best long term clients came from my ability to captivate senior leaders with how I saw their current situation. Learn to create powerful frames and metaphors around how you share a client’s challenges. Learn to talk to your new clients in more fascinating ways.
For example, when the IBM /Apple partnership was announced, I called former clients and partners to see how this new partnership was going to impact their client expansion process with the trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). I asked, “What would it be like to have a portable hospital staff that you carry everywhere you go?”
Good advisors invest time every day reading and keeping up with what’s happening with their new clients and their client’s customers.
Hope you got several new ideas on how to find the best new clients for your startup. I’ve been doing this with my new clients for many years. I know it works well and delivers new clients on a regular basis.
Friday, this week I share several new tools that can help shorten your sales cycle. We are going to start discussing how to use digital marketing and social selling to accelerate your sales process.
See you Friday!