Often when clients start to work with me their number one objective is to attract their own new clients, quickly!
Is that possible? Can you speed up the natural buying cycle that all potential clients move through?
I’m a big believer that it takes time to build the know, like, trust and desire factors that lead to wholehearted connection. And so I believe that overall, the most enjoyable, fulfilling and successful business relationships are those that have been nurtured and built over time.
But there are indeed ways in which you can choose to influence that cycle without alienating your community or ever coming across as pushy or inauthentic.
Honestly, if you are not by nature pushy or inauthentic, you simply won’t come across like that anyway, because it’s not a part of you! So you can relax 🙂
What is a buying cycle?
To understand how you can potentially bring a sale forward, you first need to understand the cycle of consideration that almost every single person goes through when they are going to make an investment. It doesn’t matter what size the investment, the stages in the decision-making process are the same, they will just vary in their length..
Typically, the lower the perceived risk, the shorter the cycle. So choosing a soft drink is much quicker than choosing a naturopath!
To become a potential client for you, an individual needs to be aware of a problem or an aspiration that they have. And at the start of this cycle, they often just aren’t.
This is what I call The Ostrich Stage. They may have had hints or signs that there is a problem, but they are just not ready to look at it yet.
Once someone becomes aware that they have a need and willing to do something about it, you can begin to plant seeds about your solution out into the market. You can begin to educate people about your potential solution, as it is still too soon in the cycle to anticipate a actual sale but it is the perfect time to begin to raise your visibility.
When an individual moves into the research phase of the cycle, they begin to actively search for information on options available to them. It’s here where you need to be aware that they may be considering solutions that are very different to what you have to offer.
For example, if you are a masseuse, your potential client, who is really looking for relaxation and stress release, may also be considering meditation, retreats, yoga, kinesiology and more. This is why it is so important for you to be very aware of the Top Of Mind Problem, Pain or Aspiration (TOMPPA) that they have and what’s the result they’re seeking – then you can explain in a compelling way how your solution delivers exactly that rather than just focusing on how your massage services are better than other massage services!
I dive deeper into this R & R Process in a previous post – there’s also an exercise sheet for you to download that will make it very easy for you to master this skill.
Once the research is complete, your potential client will then move into comparison and evaluation and finally, make the purchase decision.
So how can you attract new clients quickly, given this cycle?
Although around 97% of your market is not at the Point of Purchase yet, you can often entice a number of people forward who are in Comparison Mode by offering an incentive without lessening your value. For example, early in the year New Year Restart or Kickstart offers are a great way to package up and bonus your regular services or programs to make them all the more enticing to a potential client and this can be enough to bring a decision forward or to tip the scales in your favour.
Introduce Authentic Scarcity
If there really and truly is only a limited amount of space in your diary to handle clients or time that a program offer can stay open for because you have a start date, then don’t be shy about letting your audience know this. Deadlines prompt action.
If you are aware of specific concerns and fears that clients are likely to have because they have come up often in conversations, pre-empt these in your copy. “You may be feeling x or y, many people do, and this is how it works…….” can help a potential client begin to commit to a purchase before they speak with you or walk them towards the shopping cart because you have demonstrated empathy and understanding. That’s why FAQ’s are so important on a website.
Come out of hiding and make offers!
The very BEST way to attract new clients is to actually make offers! Invite people into sales conversations and give real, tangible value for the time they are investing with you and then, if there is a resonant fit, invite them to work with you. So often I see beautifully capable wholehearted businesswomen with so much to give hiding behind their computers, perfecting that which doesn’t need to be perfected, telling themselves they’re not quite ready yet, procrastinating and self-sabotaging.
Just step forward. Send that email. Go to that Networking event and strike up a conversation. Follow up and make an offer. Host that webinar or teleseminar. Seek that speaking gig. Develop that strategic alliance.
Leap, and grow your wings on the way down.
And don’t give up. I have had people in my wholehearted community who after 18 months have now said yes to an invitation. After seeing many, many offers in that time. If I’d stopped offering way back then, they would never have become one of my much-loved clients today.
So yes, it is possible to attract new clients quickly, you may connect with someone at an event who is perfect for you as you are for them (business love at first sight perhaps…?) But it is most likely that a new client is already in your community, just waiting for the right invitation.
And so if you are nurturing your tribe with great content, adding value and surprising and delighting them along the way, when you do make an offer, chances are there will be someone ready to move forward and engage with you.
Why not try it tomorrow?