Having the right clients can make all the difference in your business’s success. Of course, finding those ideal clients isn’t always easy. You don’t want to be too selective and turn down a good business opportunity, but you also don’t want to overextend yourself for a client who won’t stick around in the long run.
We asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council how they’ve managed to attract—and more importantly, keep—the right clients in their roster. Here are their best strategies.
1. Live The Values Of Your Dream Clients
Walk the walk. If you want to attract more social impact clients, talk about the social impact your business is making. If you want to attract more clients in sports, share images of your team engaging in sports. Clients want to see that you’re an expert, but they also want to see that you are part of their world. When you live the values of your dream clients, they’ll find you. – Matthew Manos, verynice
2. Ask For Referrals
When you find a great client whom you love, ask them if they can recommend non-competitive colleagues who may benefit from your services. There’s a very good chance they have friends who would benefit from your services too. Referrals are by far the lowest-cost, highest-qualified customers you can get—you just have to ask! – Brittany Hodak, Keynote Speaker
3. Tailor Your Messaging
Craft personalized messages based on your ideal client’s demographic, desires and location. A customer wants to feel like more than a target; they want a product or service that speaks to them. This is just as important in B2B because businesses want to use products that benefit their operations. One of our strategies is to hand-write postcards for prospective clients. The extra effort makes a difference. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
4. Be Consistent In Your Communications
Having consistent messaging and making sure that you are communicating that message with potential new clients is key. If you want clients who are growing quickly and you want to help them with their cash flow forecasting, margin analysis and other areas that will help them increase sales and profits, you need to tell them that and put that type of language in your marketing and sales calls. – Jennifer A Barnes, Optima Office, Inc
5. Learn To Identify The Wrong Clients Quickly
Learn how to quickly disqualify the wrong clients. The best salespeople understand the importance of not wasting time on customers who aren’t the right fit. A very simple example is when you visit a car lot and the first thing they ask you is your budget. In addition to price, you need to identify your prospects’ needs and focus all your attention on those you can really help. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
6. Get Comfortable Setting Limits And Saying ‘No’
To attract the customers and clients you want, you have to be firm about the business you run and what you’re willing to do to make people happy. Some companies go all out and do anything for their customers, but this isn’t always a good thing because then they expect special treatment. Be firm about your company’s limits and don’t be afraid of saying “no.” – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
7. Get To Know Your Ideal Client Well
Figure out who they actually are. Believe it or not, depending upon your industry or niche, your ideal customer generally has a specific demographic makeup in terms of gender, age, salary, profession and a whole lot more. Get this research completed and go after those who are most likely to buy from you. Take care of them with stellar customer service and they’ll be yours for life. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
8. Extend Your Sales Process
It may seem counterintuitive, but we actually do not want a client to sign a contract with us after a first call. We know that the best clients are the ones who truly understand content marketing and our services. So we ask for at least two calls to dig more into what to expect and to talk through their goals. This always results in better client relationships. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
9. Understand Their Pain Points
The key to attracting the right clients is to understand their pain points. In other words, how does your product or service fill the needs of your customers? Once you figure out the answer to this question, you can start gearing your marketing material toward solving glaring pain points in your industry. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
10. Build Authority And Create Trust
One of the best ways to attract the right clients is to focus on building your authority and creating trust. Much of today’s product/service research, connections and customer/company relationships take place online. Building your authority and reputation through social media and blogs is one very effective way to position yourself as an expert and attract your ideal client. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker