How to get more clients like your “best” clients
19th, Jan 2020
All clients are not created equally. While we know that, many of us actively pursue any client rather than focusing on a specific “ideal or best client.” The fear is that if we limit ourselves to only seeking one client type, we may not be able to make enough money. Even if that could be true for your business (but probably isn’t), it is beneficial to identify what kind of clients you really want and how you can get more like them. Here are 4 steps to get you started:
1. Identify your “best” existing and past clients. How do you define “best?” Are your best clients the ones who paid you the most last year (i.e., gross revenue)? Or are they the most profitable (i.e., you realized the highest hourly rate for your time)? Maybe they represent clients who are the easiest to get or who pay promptly and never complain? Or it could be clients who hire you for the kind of work you enjoy the most? Your definition of the best does not have to be the same as other people’s. It should fit your needs and highlight the specific types of clients you want to have.
2. Create a client profile or buyer persona. If you want to get more clients like your best ones, you need to understand as much about them as possible. You do this by developing a client profile or buyer persona which documents pertinent information to guide your marketing efforts. For example, what are their demographics, stage of life/business, interests, pain points, etc.? How did you get them as clients? Did they come through a certain category of referrals (past clients, colleagues from other firms, specific networking groups, etc.) or some other manner? What drives their decision-making? This information will help you target them more effectively by identifying where you can find them and what message will resonate with them.
3. Prioritize your efforts. Many business experts recommend putting your existing clients into 3 buckets – A, B, and C. Bucket A has your best clients. You want to give them the most attention to retain them and encourage them to give more referrals to you. In addition, you want to use the bulk of your marketing time and money to target more clients like them. Bucket B has your average clients. They need to be kept satisfied, but more importantly, focus on how they could become A clients. What kind of marketing and business development will help you get more business from them directly or through referrals? Bucket C consists of clients who take up a lot more time than the revenue they generate warrants. Often, the C clients are the ones who are easier to get and hard to get rid of because they help pay the firm’s bills even though they are only marginally profitable, if at all. When professionals complain they do not have the time to market, it may be because there is a significant amount of time spent on C clients. Time is money and you must decide whether it makes good business sense to let go of C clients in order to focus on getting As and Bs.
4. Develop a marketing plan. The key to successful marketing is to have a written marketing plan which lays out what you want to accomplish and the actions you will take. The plan should focus specifically on getting more clients like your best clients and outline the strategies and tactics you will use and the resources you will invest in achieving your goals. Random acts of marketing don’t get results. You need to concentrate on targeting your audience consistently using multiple marketing tactics.
Stop wasting time going after any client and use these 4 steps to get your best clients.
For help with your marketing plan, contact us for a consultation.