Gone are the days of obtaining a client by introducing yourself at an event, getting a business card and contacting them the next day. This system still has its place, but in today’s speed-of-light market you must give your potential customer a consultation on-the-spot.
Why wait? Give them value immediately. Demonstrate your skills and knowledge, customized in that moment to the needs of the prospective client standing in front of you. If you don’t know how to do this, then learn…or you will be left behind in the dust. (a good coach can help you with this)
If you are unhappy with your current employee benefits program and you just happen to meet, not one but two, insurance brokers at a networking mixer…who are you going to call the next day? The one who tells you she offers a full range of benefits options as well as HR consulting and would love to sit down with you to go over the features of each package? Or the one who tells you how he just saved a new client 19% on their existing plan after coming up with several innovations that reconfigured their medical plan with a dual option?
If you know your website is outdated and pathetic, who are you going to set up a meeting with? The person you met at the Chamber event who told you that he is a copywriter and web designer who owns his own business in your town? Or the person at the same event, who asks you how many new clients per month come to you through your website?..if your website’s copyright date is 2 years old?..and after learning about your business, offers you two ideas that will encourage visitors to stay longer on your website?
Many of you worry that you will “give too much away.” You’ve worked hard to gain your expertise and you deserve to be paid for it. Get over it. Offering instant great value is the name of the game. It actually always has been for skilled sales people, but today it can truly make or break the thread to the next step in landing the client. Giving a mini-consultation will absolutely position you as an expert in the mind of the client. When you “show them” rather than “tell them” how skilled you are, they appreciate you and trust you. And they won’t waste time later asking about your credentials.
Your potential client will not likely remember enough of the specifics to actually implement the great ideas you gave her. But what she will remember is your interest, your brilliance, and your solution to her business problem. You’re the one she’s going to call the next day. Expect her call, and for God’s sake get back to her the same day, if not within the hour!