Build a Web to Catch a Client
I had a somewhat creepy conversation with a client recently.
I'd been thinking about the easiest way to access dream clients for several people and the same image kept popping into my head: a spider web designed to catch what they're looking for.
We both laughed about my odd imagery (nothing new there), but he got the point.
The conversation came about because he had just acquired a new client that he was so excited about. Now, I have my clients fill out an Idea Client Profile when they come on board, but to have a real, physical person who is EXACTLY who you want to serve walk through your door really makes that targeting feel more tangible.
I wanted him to really think about the questions that that client asked and what she needed.
I wanted him to think about posts that she might share with other friends and colleagues that would help get his name out there.
More importantly, I wanted him to think about who she works for and how he might be able to get a little name recognition with that organization.
I've done this myself and - I'm not going to lie - this is a long game scenario. It's probably very rare that you meet someone and they immediately say, "I'm going to introduce you to the president of my organization/head of HR" or whomever would be the person who might drop your name to others in the organization.
In my case, it took me two years to really make that happen. But, since then, I've seen nothing but drastic change to my business.
So, how do you do this? How do you build a (not creepy - just helpful) web to catch a good referral source?
1. Think about who you want to serve.
It all comes down to that ideal client. After all, you don't want to spend tons of time trying to get "in" with an organization of people you don't want to work with. You have to think about the EXACT person you want to work with and want more of them.
2. Think about what they need.
This could take some time. You really need to hone in on what they're looking for and PAY ATTENTION. This might even mean that you winnow down your service offerings to be very specific to that ideal client. Once you do that and become the very best at what you do...you have something extremely valuable to offer people just like him or her.
3. Find new ways to offer what the client needs.
This is what becomes REALLY valuable to the "source." Offer free tools, webinars, courses...anything that you might be able to offer to the head of the organization or the major referral partner you're hoping to attract. People are ALWAYS looking for valuable tools to offer employees and they often don't have time to create them. Put your personal spin on the services you're offering and just let them know, "Hey. I'm here to help you however I can."
Another thing you should keep in mind: This has worked well for me because I've offered lots of free things or services at a discount. In my case, I've offered to help my "source" with projects to stay top of mind and give them the experience of working with me. Nothing sells a service better than word-of-mouth and having someone in a position of power say, "You should work with Catherine. We love working with her" gets me more business than any advertising possibly could.
I truly believe that this system would work for any business. As always, it's about being of service, not selling. In this case, it's just taking it to another level.