If you’re like most of the business owners and/or entrepreneurs I know, you probably don’t have an overflow of clients/customers—and definitely NOT a number that exceeds your capacity to serve.
Instead, you probably have more capacity for new clients/customers and wish you had the former problem.
So, how can you turn that around? What could you do differently? What would you need to focus on to get you and your business out of that continual feast-or-famine client attraction cycle so that you could finally arrive at that destination you long for with as many clients as you want?
Well, to help you focus on the most important things, I’ve reduced all the options down to the following six. Follow these and you’ll find you and your business in a new and more profitable place in no time at all.
I. Focus On Urgent Wants, Not Ordinary Needs
One of the most common mistakes that most business owners and entrepreneurs make is that they focus their marketing efforts on what they “know” their clients need. For example, an accounting firm knows that all businesses have certain needs—they need to pay their taxes, they need to create financial documents for their board or bank, they need to get an audit, etc. And because businesses need these things, the typical accounting firm markets their services as such.
However, as a business owner or entrepreneur, how high on the want scale is an audit? Or getting a tax return completed? Not high at all. They’re required (hence, a need) but they’re not a want. And when something is a need over a want, clients and customers will postpone making a decision as long as possible, and they’ll be hyper price sensitive. Why? Because they don’t see the value in something that’s required.
On the other hand, what would a business owner and/or entrepreneur find valuable? Something that they urgently want. Depending on the business (and the season of that business), it might be help finding cash to hire a new sales person. It might be developing a funding plan for a new expansion. It might be developing a growth plan. It might be saving money by outsourcing a function and reducing overhead, etc. In other words, when you focus on urgent wants vs. ordinary needs, you’ll automatically generate more leads and prospects.
So, as you look at your marketing, are you focused on urgent wants or ordinary needs? And do you have a list of your target market’s urgent needs?
II. Focus on Benefits, Not Features
If you’ve ever taken a marketing class, chances are you’re familiar with the concept of benefits vs. features. However, in case you’re not, a feature is what your product or service offers/does and the benefit is the outcome or outcomes of using your product or service. The classic marketing slogan is, “No one needs a drill, everyone needs holes.”
That said, when I typically ask a business owner and/or entrepreneur about their business and what they offer (or I go to the website or read their marketing materials) they’re almost aways focused on features, not benefits.
For example, with a document management company, they might market a service that improves workflow (let’s say, takes a manual AP process and digitizes it so it’s now paperless and resides in the “cloud.”). When they market that service, they’ll typically focus on what software product they use. They’ll talk about how many documents it can store or process in X amount of time. They’ll talk about the process they use. Etc. These are all features. “We use XYZ software that has these capabilities and can do these kinds of things …“
However, as a business owner and/or entrepreneur, that’s not what you care about, is it? Not at all. You don’t care which software is used. What you care about are the results. “If we use XYZ software, how much money will it save me? How many fewer mistakes will we make? How will using this software improve my cash flow? Etc.”
So, take a look at your website (or marketing materials) and simply ask, “Are we marketing features or benefits?” You might be surprised at what you find.
III. Make Your Copy More Compelling
Before you run by this point, let me ask a question. Have you ever noticed on a magazine site (let’s say Fox News or The Huffington Post) that every time you visit that news site, the same picture has a different headline? It’s amazing isn’t it?
Why do you think that’s the case? Answer: Because they’re testing their headlines to see which gets a better response. One of the things I love about good marketing is that it’s not about our perceptions, it’s about the data. We might think we have a winner for a headline, but a good marketer would test several of them to see which one the people in their target market prefer. They might test five to ten headlines until they find one that really works—and these are professional copywriters! How much more should we work on copy?
To make this fair, I simply picked a category (Attorneys) and a location (Greensboro, NC) and went to the first firm listed on Google under the paid ads. It’s for a law firm, Duncan Law. Here’s their opening paragraph (the first words you’re probably ever hearing about Duncan Law)
Duncan Law, LLP is a bankruptcy law firm with one of its offices located in Greensboro, NC. We understand the economy has hit the people of Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Burlington and the surrounding Triad as hard as anywhere in North Carolina and even the country.
I know, compelling, eh? A few changes could make this infinitely better (Note: I’m making this copy up for illustrative purposes. I know nothing about this firm).
If you’re currently facing bankruptcy or a potential bankruptcy in the Greensboro Triad area and don’t know what to do, call us immediately. We’ve successfully handled over 5,000 bankruptcy cases and 98% of our clients say they were “very satisfied” with both the process of working with us and the result we obtained for them”
You get the idea. A few little tweaks can make a huge difference.
So once again, take a look at your website and your other marketing materials, could they use an upgrade in copy? Remember, better copy will directly result in more leads, prospects and clients.
IV. Engage in Systematic Marketing Campaigns, Not Sporadic Ones
Consistency is one of the keys to getting past the feast-or-famine client attraction cycle. In general, most businesses tend to market a lot when they need some new clients/customers. Once they start coming in, they tend to stop marketing in order to serve their new clients. Of course, the natural result is that leads and prospects die out and then it’s another mad rush for more new clients. And the cycle begins again.
Or, a business will try a marketing tactic once or twice. For example, they’ll try direct mail one or twice. Or they’ll try trade shows once or twice. Or they’ll try networking one or twice. Etc. But when they don’t see the results they’d like to see, they give up in search of a new marketing tactic.
Or they’ll market by the “seat-of-their-pants” and do it when they remember. For example, they’ll ask for referrals … when they remember or when they feel like it.
However, none of these are systematic. Trying direct mail once or twice is a waste of time and money. It’s a long-term commitment and strategy that has to systematically go out in connection with some other marketing tactics. Or asking for referrals when you remember or feel like it is a bad strategy. Or only working on business development when you have time, is another bad strategy. The better option is to work on business development all the time—especially when you’re busy.
And the key of all that is to make it systematic (which, if you want some help, check this out >>).
So, as you look at your marketing efforts, are you engaged in systematic marketing campaigns or sporadic ones? If you want to generate all the clients you want, make sure you move to a more systematic marketing approach.
V. Always Think Both Short-Term and Long-Term
In other words, if you want to get all the clients you long for, you have to use two different strategies all the time—one for getting as many clients as you can as soon as you can and another for setting the stage for even more clients (who will pay more at higher price points) and who will come to you.
For example, in the professional services world, when it comes to short-term fast marketing strategies, there is one strategy that always rises to the top—referrals. Nothing else comes close. So, if you’re in the professional services world and you want to generate clients fast, you need to engage in a number of referral strategies in a short amount of time.
On the other hand, if you want to build a bigger book of business and get more leads and prospects coming to you, you’ll need to use some long-term strategies that will make you a thought leader in your industry or area. For example, rarely will doing PR interviews result in a client right away. Or rarely will a blog post result in a client right away. Or rarely will an article printed in a respected resource result in a new client right away. However, those kinds of long-term strategies, will pay off … over time.
The problem is that most business owners and/or entrepreneurs are so focused on today that they never get around to doing what’s necessary to create the marketing collateral they need to position them as the “Go To Person” or the “Guru” or the “Thought Leader” in their area—which undercuts all their marketing efforts.
Or to put it another way, instead of making your marketing an either/or (either short-term or long-term), I recommend making it a both/and because your long-term efforts will alway enhance the effectiveness of your short-term efforts.
So, are you an either/or person or a both/and? If you want to generate all the clients you want, always engage in both short-term and long-term marketing strategies all the time.
VI. Hustle Daily, Not Occasionally
At the end of the day, speed almost always wins in the marketplace. All things being equal, the business that hustles daily will always win over the one that isn’t or only occasionally hustles. Even worse, the company that hustles will usually beat out the company with a superior product or service.
Most of us tend to think that having a better widget or service should drive more business to us, but that’s rarely true. The better marketed product usually wins. And the better marketed product is almost always driven by speed and hustle.
In fact, this point is so obviously true it doesn’t need any more text. It just is.
So, as you look at your business, are you and your team hustling daily? Occasionally? Or Rarely? If you want to drive growth through more client acquisition, make sure you’re hustling daily.
Well, there you go. Six keys to attracting all the clients/customers you want.
1. Focus on urgent wants, not ordinary needs
2. Focus on benefits, not features
3. Make your copy more compelling
4. Engage in systematic marketing campaigns, not sporadic ones
5. Always think both short-term and long-term
6. Hustle daily, not occasionally
Follow these six keys and you’ll be surprised at how many more clients and customers you’ll be serving!
To your accelerated success!
P.S. If you have any other favorite ideas for attracting all the clients you want, make sure you add your comments in the comments section below (or click here >> if you’re reading this by email or RSS feed)
P.P.S. If you’re ready to develop a more systematic marketing approach, make sure you check this out >>