5 Tips to Finding Clients in the New Economy

Saturday, November 12, 2011   //   Marketing And Sales  //  No Comments

Every business owner knows that locating new clients is an important part of maintaining a profitable business. We expend a great deal of money and effort to propel our company name and product into the consciousness of potential customers in order to get them to come through the door, ring the phone and ensure we keep the doors open with their hard earned purchases. The irony of conducting business in the New Economy is that although our advertising dollars have decreased along with our customers’ spending cash, the need for our products and services have not necessarily diminished. The challenge facing the business owner, therefore, is to find more cost effective methods of growing and maintaining a viable client base. Here are a few tips to maximizing opportunities to increase your business in a new economical climate:

1. Maintain Your Current Client Base

No marketing strategy or campaign is more effective than maintaining the relationships your company has already established. Now more than ever, your current clients should feel that your company is the best product or service for the price and that their business is appreciated. Pay particular attention to customer service by meeting or exceeding your customers’ expectations. This pays off in the long run as well as in the next tip.

2. Ask For Referrals

Even if you have been too shy or proud to impose upon your clients in this way in the past, this new economy should rid you of your hesitation. When a client compliments your company, product or service, this is the perfect opportunity to ask if there are any colleagues or friends who may benefit from a similar experience. For customers with the ability to send you multiple referrals such as a fellow business owner, offer referral trades or some other incentive to entice them to do some of your work for you.

3. Revive Previous Relationships

Recognize former clients as current opportunities instead of past business. Consult your records which should give you a conversation starter. Ask about their satisfaction with the previous transaction and if there is any other way in which you can serve. Even a relationship that ended on a sour note can be revived with a little humility and sincere effort. Own any perceived mistakes and offer to make it right if given the opportunity. You can only gain in this situation. Even if you don’t get instant results, you’ve renewed contact and placed a positive spin on a previous interaction.

4. Participate in Social Media

The popularity of social websites has spawned a whole new facet of marketing. Being a member of one is an easy way to give you and your business free exposure. Create a campaign offering a limited time or number for your “special friends” through this forum. Facebook and Twitter are probably the most heavily trafficked and easiest to navigate. Don’t do this in too many sites at once and you will have to monitor your results closely to know when to end the offer. You could end up with more business than you can handle.

5. Use Job Boards

This is especially useful for specialized services. Job boards like Elance.com or Guru.com offer free memberships, but you’ll probably want to purchase yours in order to have the most access and options. Paid memberships also project a more professional image to potential clients. Create some job proposal templates that can easily be customized for each job on which you bid. Be sure to enhance your profile by a complete list of skills and experience, being as detailed as possible yet easily readable, as well as any applicable portfolio items. If you commit yourself to bidding on five jobs per day, you will see results in no time.

Increasing and maintaining a healthy client base is essential to the success of any business in any economical climate. The New Economy requires us to take a more proactive approach to marketing by being more assertive and more personally responsible. The technological advances surrounding the internet have provided us with unprecedented tools and possibilities. Mastery of both of these will not only save a business in this challenging time, but cause it to thrive.

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