I recently gave a client a piece of advice that I think you’ll like to hear…
If you’re a long-time reader of my work, or if you’ve read my book, The Copywriter’s Guide to Getting Paid, this will be nothing new.
And yet, it’s so powerful I probably can’t repeat it enough.
If you’re in an industry where clients are not actively searching for your product or service — AND your per-client value is high — you need to know this strategy…
First things first, this strategy is NOT for people who are selling a $39 ebook, or even a $99/month membership site.
It’s not for you if you’re selling low-priced consumer goods, where you need customers in the thousands or more to succeed.
But if your client value is at least $1,000 (and preferably a LOT higher), this will be a perfect fit.
Even more so if your product or service isn’t something your ideal clients are searching for a lot.
Take copywriting for example. Great example because so many of my readers are copywriters, and because I know the industry well. If you’re not in the industry, bear with me for a second, and try to apply the example to your field.
The top 20 or 30 direct response financial publishers always need new copywriting talent. But they don’t actively search for it. Sure, they may occasionally put up a job post or somehow let the world know they’re looking. But they’re not out searching the internet looking for the next great copywriting sensation.
This means that if you’re a high-level copywriter serving these clients, you don’t necessarily even need a website. It won’t hurt — and if they hear about you and want to find you, it might help a little. But a website — no matter how good — won’t automatically get you any clients. They simply won’t find it.
To make matters worse, those same companies are getting hit up on a regular basis from newbies to the field, and others less qualified than you. So there’s even some animosity toward searching for new copywriters — they don’t want the negative feelings of having to sift and sort to find a good fit.
You need to do something to actively get on their radar. But the good news is that the per-client value tends to be high enough that it’s really worth it.
Here’s the exact process you need to follow if you want to put yourself in front of all these ideal clients…
First, you need to get crystal clear on who it is that makes an ideal client for you.
Example: Once upon a time, I was on the lookout for financial publishers doing at least $1 million per year in business, who were using long-form direct response sales letters to sell newsletter subscriptions. And, because through AWAI I was already connecting to many Agora divisions (many of whom only wanted to work with in-house writers), I wanted companies that were not affiliated with Agora.
Second, make a list of up to 100 of these ideal clients.
Create a spreadsheet and start putting company names on a list. Up to 100 of your ideal clients. The tendency will be to want to do more. I actually recommend doing a lot less, if you can’t serve a ton of clients at the same time. Since I can only do 6-12 major projects per year, I was content to have a list of 20. At most, make a list of 100 and have a B-list of companies that you can pull from after you start knocking this top 100 off the list (making them clients).
Third, get the most relevant contact information at each company.
Who do you need to speak with? Who is the decision maker? Who is the influencer? Who can you influence (such as the CEO/owner) who will pass you down from on high to the lower-level decision maker? You don’t have to limit yourself to one person. In fact, you may want to take a multi-touch approach that leads to many people in the company all having conversations about you at once. Figure out who that person or those people are, and add them to your list. Names, emails, phone numbers, mailing addresses — all the ways you may want to get in touch with them.
Fourth, create a strategy for introducing yourself to them, and presenting your unique value proposition.
You need to get on their radar. Which starts with one contact. Tell what unique value you can provide, and make an offer. I don’t know your business, and I want this to be fairly universal, so I’ll just say to make it clear in your offer how they can take the next step and engage with you further — even if that’s just a 15-minute phone call. Out of 100, depending on your offer and your list, you may get a couple. Don’t expect anywhere near 100. Since your client value is high (a prerequisite mentioned above), getting 1 or 2 to come forward from a single contact should more than justify whatever expense.
Fifth, create a strategy to regularly put yourself in front of these potential customers.
Since you have 100 or less people on this list, even a very expensive “touch” — such as a high-end direct mail piece — should only cost in the hundreds and at max a couple thousand dollars per touch. If your client value is $20,000, and you spend $20 per prospect or $2,000 total to reach all 100 just to get 1 to come forward, that’s a 10X ROI. If these prospects are truly your ideal clients, and you have a substantial per-client value, it should prove a smart investment to put yourself in front of them at least monthly.
SIDE NOTE: While this is the ideal implementation, I’ve never implemented this strategy to its ideal. Because as soon as I start systematically reaching out to potential clients, I find myself too busy to keep up with demand. That is, with a short list of 20 and actively reaching out once or twice, I’m too booked to keep reaching out. It would be better, in hindsight, to be more active about it. (That prevents the feast and famine of most consulting practices.) But it’s such an effective strategy for one-to-one client work that I often stop short because it’s “too effective.”
Do this consistently to get a steady flow of high-value clients…
There are a lot of ways to get clients. Some more active. Some more passive. Some that require consistent one-on-one selling. And some that can be done mostly through automated marketing.
This kind of sits in the middle.
With high-ticket sales (the kind that work best for this approach), you’ll usually need some one-to-one contact. You’ll need to get on the phone or meet your prospect. But starting there can make you feel like everyone else who is constantly cold calling, begging for their attention.
This approach allows you to make a big impression and get on the radar of your ideal prospects, without breaking the bank by going too wide. Because you limit your prospect pool to only the best potential clients, you can spend more per prospect, per contact. This leads to a bigger impact per contact. Also, because your list is smaller, you’re having many touches in row with each contact, which only increases the impression you have, as well as increases the odds you’ll show up at just the right time where they need you.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Like This? Get More...
Get daily marketing tips by email... Enter your info below!