People you have already met may have the potential to become prospects as clients or referral sources. Consider the following groups:
Some of your best targets are existing clients. They are the easiest and most comfortable to communicate with because they have already experienced the value that you offer. If they have continuing needs for your services, they may be prospects for additional work. Satisfied clients can also be good referral sources. They may be able to introduce you to their friends and colleagues.
You may have past clients who have additional needs for your services. As with existing clients, past clients have demonstrated a need for your services and are therefore potential prospects. But if they haven’t heard from you in a while, they may not be thinking about you.
If you work in a company or firm, you may have partners who would benefit from your ability to bring in business. They may have contacts and other resources that could help you become more successful. We have a client who is an estate-planning attorney in a small law firm who gets most of his business from CPAs. Our client’s principal sales effort is encouraging his partners who practice other types of law to introduce him to their CPA contacts. This has been a highly effective strategy.
In some businesses, even competitors can be quality targets. Professionals frequently refer work to their competitors. Your competitors may run across situations that they can’t handle for a variety of reasons. They may not have your specialized skills. The size of the request may be too small or too large. There may be conflicts of interest that prevent them from taking on a specific client. Or they may be too busy to take on new clients.
Your advisors, such as your banker, accountant, lawyer, financial planner, and insurance agent, all come into contact with people whom you may want to meet. You should also meet your clients’ advisors. If you get work from a particular group, let’s say CPAs, ask yourself, “Have I met all of the CPAs of all of my clients?”
Friends and Family
Your friends and family may be able to help you generate new business. Many of our clients do business with their friends and family. It can be both profitable and enjoyable.
For more marketing tips, check out our book Selling in Your Comfort Zone.