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Your business needs a steady influx of new prospects in order to be successful. Whether you’re in sales and looking for new customers or you’re a freelancer looking for new clients, you need to know how to attract prospects to your business. While the rise of the Internet over the last couple of decades has forever changed the way that business is done, the top professionals know that getting new prospects and retaining clients requires a mix of old and new techniques. If you’re looking for a leg up as you prospect for new customers, here are ten helpful tips to get you started.
Make Use of Social Media
The first step to acquiring new prospects is to use social media to your advantage. Creating Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts for your business is free and can exponentially increase the exposure of your company. More importantly, since these platforms have become ubiquitous, prospective clients may be turned off if your business doesn’t have a social media presence.
Keep Content Fresh
Consistently updating your website and social media accounts with new content is a great way to stay relevant and show prospects that you’re actively engaged with your industry. Find articles, infographics or studies that are related to your business and post links on your social media accounts. Additionally, it can be helpful to maintain a weekly blog to showcase your own opinions and personality.
One of the best ways to attract new prospects is to show off your existing ones. If you know that you’ve provided a customer with a particularly positive experience, ask them for a testimonial. These testimonials don’t have to be elaborate or embellished. Simply providing proof that you can deliver on your promises will help to give faith to prospective customers.
Making use of the Internet can go a long way towards attracting new prospects, but personal connects are the lifeblood of business. Whenever possible, engage with prospects and clients face-to-face in order to give them a personalized experience. By making an effort to get to know everyone you work with individually, you can create a stronger bond, increasing the likelihood that they decide to do business with you.
It’s human nature to follow a set routine. As you prospect for new clients, don’t be surprised if you encounter resistance from people who feel set in their ways. If you sense that a prospective client is hesitant about doing business with you, listen to his or her concerns and do your best to address each of them accordingly.
Get Referrals from Existing Customers
One of the easiest techniques for finding new prospects is to make use of your existing customer pool. Talk to your clients and see if they know of anyone who could also benefit from your services or expertise. Remember that word of mouth can be incredibly powerful, and by having an existing client refer you to a prospect, you can greatly increase the likelihood that you land the new customer.
Return to Former Customers
Sometimes customers leave you for one of your competitors. While that’s an unavoidable part of doing business, there is no reason to assume that the change is permanent. Rather than trying to win over new clients, consider returning to some of your former customers and see if they’re interested in coming back. Oftentimes, clients aren’t nearly as happy with a change as they thought they might be and are more than willing to return to your business.
Keep Track of the Competition
In order to succeed in business, you need to know your competition. This knowledge can be especially useful in acquiring new prospects. If, for example, you know that a competitor has introduced an initiative that is unpopular or that they’re experiencing a staff shakeup, it may be time to swoop in and see if any of their clients are up for grabs. By keeping your ear to the ground and looking after your competition, you should be in a prime position to capitalize on any opportunities.
Don’t Get Complacent
After experiencing a sustained level of success, some businesspeople get complacent and they stop searching for new prospects. While there is certainly nothing wrong with success, you should never lose the initiative to do more. Remember that, eventually, your existing customers may move on or go out of business, and you’ll need to replace them somehow. If you allow yourself to become too satisfied with what you’ve already done, you may not be able to replace a customer that leaves, or you may miss out on a promising new prospect altogether.
Listen to Your Customers
Listening to your existing customers can give you invaluable insight into what you’re doing correctly in your business. They can tell you what your strengths are, allowing you to highlight these strengths to new prospects. Additionally, by maintaining a constant dialogue with your clients, you can correct issues before they grow into larger problems that could result in losing a valued customer.
Finding new prospects for your company and earning their business can be a challenge. By following these techniques, however, you can go a long way towards building your roster of clients and ensuring that they stay with you for years to come.
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