4 Client Acquisition Bases You Must Touch to Score More Clients
When you’re on the phone with a prospective client – do you wing it? Do you play it by ear? Or do you have a specific process you know usually works if you follow it?
I’m not suggesting that we don’t need to be flexible with every prospect and client we encounter. We usually need to adjust our process or style to remain relevant to the other person. With that said, using a proven process – most of the time – will certainly help you convert more prospects into clients over the long run.
Here are 4 Sales Bases You Want to Touch to Score More Clients
FIRST BASE: Create Engagement with the Prospect
In the “old days” we were taught to “talk about the golf clubs in the corner” or “ask about the people in the photos on their mantle.” I guess that’s still okay to do, but is there anything more modern and effective?
Here are 4 things you can do to create faster and more meaningful engagement with a new prospect:
- Celebrate the Introduction – Assuming you met through an introduction from a client or center of influence, acknowledge and celebrate that. They feel more comfortable from the start and so do you.
- Prior Research (Warm & Cold) – Before you ever reach out to anyone, learn a few things about them. Cold research is doing such things as looking at their LinkedIn profile, company website, and Facebook page. Warm research is making sure your referral source tells you a bit about the prospect, what’s going on in their world that’s important to them, and why the source thinks you’d be a good resource for their friend or colleague.
- Be Transparent About Your Process – Let your prospect know that, above all else, you simply want to play a role in helping them make the most educated decision possible related to the work that you do. That might mean doing nothing, making a few tweaks to their situation, or possibly more substantial work. You’ll work toward whatever is absolutely the best fit for them.
- Share Your Personal Why – I’ve covered this on the blog in the past. Telling your prospects WHY you do what you do – in a client-centered manner – makes you more “real” to them. Because this often involves a story or personal anecdote, they listen to you differently; they lean into you.
SECOND BASE: Discover & Quantify Their Gap
Anyone who hops on the phone or sits in front of you likely has a gap between where they are and where they want to be related to the work that you do. Before you talk too much about your solutions, make sure you can speak in a way that’s super relevant to their specific situation. Sure… give them the basics of what you do, but then make sure you have this “Here-to-There” conversation.*
- What is their “Here”? What does their current situation look like related to your work? What are they most proud of? What do they wish they could change?
- What is their “There”? What’s the picture for the future; one year, three years, or 10 years down the road (whatever’s appropriate)?
- What are their opportunities? They know of some things that might be coming down the road . . . and you might be aware of some things that they aren’t thinking about.
- What are their challenges? Same as with opportunities.
When you’re examining these four areas, you find their Gap. Your mission, should they accept you into their world, is to close that Gap for them.
*I need to credit my source for this concept — Bill Whitley with Risk Advisor Institute. And by the way, if you’re a Multi-Line or P&C agent. You really want to check out Whitley’s work: www.RiskAdvisorInstitute.com.
THIRD BASE: Provide Value Quickly
When we provide value quickly to our prospects – even if it’s not related to our core work – we engender trust. The Gap Process, as described above, can bring tremendous value to some prospects very quickly in the new relationship; sometimes, the very first appointment or phone call.
Another way to provide value quickly is to share a short story or anecdote of how one of your clients solved a problem related to the work you do. While you can’t promise a specific result, you can show them how your work has impacted others. This is not just you “boasting” or “selling.” This brings what you do to life, so your prospect can make the best possible decision for them.
HOME PLATE: Tell Your Prospect You Think You’re a Great Fit and Why
Rounding the bases is great, but don’t count against the score until you cross home plate. This simple and powerful strategy will bring more prospects home for you.
Once you’ve done your discovery of your prospects situation and you believe you truly are a good fit for them, don’t hold back! With soft confidence – say to them, “Based on all that you’ve explained to me and my expertise in this area, I believe that I (or we) are a great fit for what you’re trying to accomplish. For example…” Then give 2-5 specific examples of what they want and need and how you can do that for them in an effective way.
Throughout all your conversations with your prospect, keep this strategy in mind. Take good notes and find your favorite way to mark your notes for those items you want to bring back into such a conversation as this.
You don’t have to “close” the sale, but you do want to “open” the new client relationship. You want to make a recommendation and display your desire to serve them.
“Touch ‘em All”
I have played a lot of baseball and softball. Whenever someone hit a home run (not me, I was mostly singles with an occasional double), we’d yell out “Touch ‘em all.”
So when it comes to converting prospects into clients, you’re usually better using a tried-and-true process. Touch ‘em all.
(BTW – If you want to watch a classic “Touch ‘em all” homerun called by Vin Scully, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM6vPyxPywo)
I truly would like to hear from you. Post a comment in this blog and I’ll respond. Or, if you prefer, send an email directly to me at BillCates@ReferralCoach.com
PS – Don’t keep these ideas a secret. Tell your colleagues and business-owner clients. CLICK TO SHARE!