Time after time when I ask our clients about topics they want to know more about, the subject of attracting larger clients comes up. So, in this episode we’ll tackle it head on and address the steps you can take now to attract the larger clients you want to have.
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be talking about attracting bigger clients. Welcome Chris.
Chris: Hey David. Thanks for having me. Bigger clients, nearly everyone in business in sales just loves the sound of that. But sometimes our actions, David, they aren’t geared towards getting those results, are they?
David: No, unfortunately they’re not. And a lot of times when I’ve had these conversations with clients and they talk about the idea of getting bigger clients and then we talk about what they’re actually doing, what we find is that they’re not in front of people who ever have the capacity to be bigger clients and so it’s very easy to pinpoint the problems just right from the get-go.
Chris: And that is kind of the function of starting in business and just taking anything that works. And then over time just not really doing the things that helped me to get there. But I also think that businesses in general have a hard time with this idea of, you know, how do I go to these people who have the bigger dollars, who are willing to buy from me? And how do I go through the process of positioning? It’s a big question for people and I think it’s not often well answered by business owners or salespeople, frankly.
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David: Yeah, there's certainly an element of fear in a lot of situations when it comes to approaching larger clients because we're afraid we're going to blow it. We're afraid we're going to say the wrong thing, and so in many cases we just don't even approach. It's like the Wayne Gretzky quote, I miss 100% of the shots I don't take. And so many people don't take those shots and as a result, they never get that business. So, I think a good step toward overcoming that fear is recognizing that buyers are human beings, no matter if they have the ability to buy a little or they have the ability to buy a lot. They're human beings and so if you approach them as human beings and you see if you can provide them with what it is they're looking for, then regardless of the size of the business, regardless of the size of their purchasing power, they're going to be happy to hear what you have to say. So, to overcome that is to identify, okay, who are some of these people? And maybe getting into conversations with a few of them, trying not to be intimidated, and some of them might be intimidating. Some of them might just be rude or obnoxious or any of the other disqualifiers that we talked about in a previous podcast. It doesn't mean that that's all of them. You can have a very poor-quality prospect who can be rude and obnoxious and can come across as if they have a huge budget when they actually have no money at all and they're about to go out of business. So, you run into a lot of the same potential issues, whether you're dealing with a high-quality client or a low-quality client.
Chris: I'd argue that in a lot of situations, those smaller clients, you're going to work a lot harder for a lot less versus larger clients where you're going to work well for an appropriate amount of income and enjoy the process more because you're dealing with somebody who's got good sales coming in, got a good income, and when you're dealing with these people, you want to think of it that way, that these are people that I can help and they can help me as a result.
David: Yeah, some small clients are great and some small clients are terrible. Same thing with large clients. So it's really very much the same thing because again, people are people. So when we look at it and we say, all right, do I want to bring some larger clients in? And if the answer's yes to that question, then obviously your actions are going to have to change to adapt to that.
Chris: Right. And yet at the same time, it's not becoming something that you don't want to be. And I think that that's part of this fear piece as well this, "Oh my gosh, am I worthy of this person and their business? Are they smarter than me?" Those kinds of things and the best way, like you said earlier, is to just go out and start to talk to some of these people. It doesn't have to be a sale right out the gate, does it?
David: No, it certainly doesn't. And those conversations are going to tell you a lot and the main thing they're going to tell you is that some of the people you talk to are going to be great. Some of them are going to be terrible and some that are going to be in between. Just like everybody else.
Chris: You mean just like life?
David: Yeah, exactly! It's just like life and the primary difference is that when you're interacting with people who have the ability to place the larger orders and to become really substantial clients of yours, you just leverage yourself enormously because you're having a conversation with somebody who it can take the same amount of time as someone that you'd have who doesn't have that level of buying power and it has the ability to create a lot more results for them and a lot better results for you.
Chris: So how do you suggest that listeners go about identifying the bigger clients in their markets?
David: Well, a lot of people already kind of know who the bigger clients in their markets are because they're big and they're out there and they're aware of them. I mean, sometimes it's a matter of just if you're operating in a local market, particularly if it's business to business, you know, who has the biggest ads in the newspaper, you know, who's advertising the most on radio or television or internet, who are you seeing online a lot because the bigger places are going to be more visible. But if you want to go beyond that, not just the biggest clients in the market, but the biggest clients that you really want to interact with… What's the type of business that you want to interact with? Or what's the type of client that you want to interact with? If you're operating in a B to C environment, if you're operating business to consumer, who are the types of clients you want to have? If you're selling real estate are you looking for somebody who wants to buy a row home, or are you looking for someone who wants to buy a mansion, right? There are differences and it's all going to depend on you. One of the things that I love about sales is that each of us gets to sort of play in the sandbox that we designed for ourselves. We can interact with the people that we want to interact with. In a B to B environment we can choose to interact with plumbers and electricians or lawyers and bankers or doctors and we get to pick; and same thing in B to C. we get to decide what types of markets we want to interact with and so use that power, use that decision making, ability to think in terms of the people, the prospects the clients that you actually want to have and then focus on initiating contact with them. It's about being proactive rather than just being reactive.
Chris: Boy, and that's what you are all about, isn't it David? I mean your topsecrets.com website, Total Market Domination course, it's all about getting those plans in place and doing things in a way that's intentional.
David: Right. And making it accessible to people. Because there are a lot of small business owners who feel like they can't do it, that they're overwhelmed or outgunned by everybody else. And the fact of the matter is that it is actually pretty simple for small and medium sized businesses to compete when they're taking the right actions.
Chris: Boy oh boy, it's so important to understand that you as a listener have the ability to go get these clients and it just is going to take a little bit of practice and intention, but you know, talk about the difficulty or ease of reaching these bigger clients.
David: Yeah, I think there's a perception among salespeople that it's a lot harder to get to the bigger customers and that can certainly be true in some cases and it's less true in other cases, just like you know, are they going to be nice or are they going to be mean? It's going to be a mix. Same thing. Some of them will be easier to reach, some of them will be harder to reach. Are you going to be able to pick up the phone and call Bill Gates and get through? Probably not, not even if you've got a really successful autoresponder campaign backing that up, it's probably not going to happen. But for most people, most businesses you should be able to reach, introduce yourself to and get a message in front of the people that you are interested in having as prospects and as clients.
Chris: And let's not forget for one second that now more than ever you have access to things like LinkedIn where you can see if you have common relationships, that sort of thing, and really have the ability to personalize a conversation much more quickly. “Oh, I see you know Bill Smith from so-and-so!” and to create that conversation much more easily because you can do a little bit of background research, eh?
David: Yes, and you can also get your conversation in front of them. If you see somebody that you're looking to impact and you see them online, let's say it's on LinkedIn and they posted something about something that they were doing in their business and you were simply to comment on that, on how interesting you thought it was or if you had a question about it or whatever. Now you're actually interacting with that person. You're having a dialogue, you're not having to go through a gatekeeper.
David: Other things you can look at are what are some conversations they're involved in? And you could simply get involved in those conversations, so they start to view you as a peer, right? Because if we're four or five people and we're all involved in a conversation from that standpoint, we're all peers. So we're all listening to what each other has to say and assuming no one's being a nincompoop, we can all agree that we're peers in this conversation. We all have our opinions. And we're able to interact and it's just great for establishing the type of relationship and rapport that we're going to need, if at some point we want to start selling something to them.
Chris: And I think it goes back to also this idea of having an approach that is conversational, that's relationship oriented and is not just straight sales oriented.
David: Yeah. And social media, since that's kind of what we're talking about at this point, it's just like any other interaction, whether it's at a networking function, you run into someone on the street, you're having conversation and that's what it's all about. It's not always about pitching. It's not always about presenting yourself as the expert. It's not always about just personal stuff. It's a mix. It's a constant evolution. The conversation moves and flows based on what's most important to the people that are having it. And that is the essence of selling to any business, whether it's a larger client or a smaller client.
Chris: So simple and yet it's so easy to lose sight of. So let's talk about in terms of salespeople being afraid to give up their average client, their bread and butter clients, and they may make up the majority of their client base. What do you say to them about giving those people up?
David: Well, they don't have to give them up. I think what they can do is if they're able to target some larger clients and they're able to start interacting with them and they're able to start converting them. If they're able to actually start dominating the market of higher ticket, bigger clients, then they're going to be in a much better position to decide exactly what they want to do with their other customers. If they love them, if they've got a great relationship, if they're able to service them and they want to maintain those relationships, they absolutely can and should. I'm not suggesting that you just dump everything that you're doing and focus entirely on a completely different subset of people. What I'm saying is that if you're really seriously interested in attracting bigger clients than some of your actions are going to have to indicate that, some of your actions are going to have to be designed to do that and not just every now and then. It's going to need to be a consistent process where you're identifying, you're establishing first contact with those people, you're interacting with them, you're qualifying them in or out to determine whether or not they have a good fit with you and you have a good fit with them. And if you do, you move forward and work together and if you don't, you move on to someone else.
Chris: And frankly then when you've got that process really going nicely and you're developing some bigger clients, then you have the ability to keep your bread and butter clients and still let others go that just aren't a fit or have not been fun to work with and that makes for much more enjoyable business, doesn't it?
David: It does. And as you start to develop these larger clients, what you'll also find is that other large clients are now all of a sudden interested in you, because now you're whirling in their orbit as well. You're interacting with people that they know, that they trust. They look at somebody like that. They say, "Okay, well, if this large client is interacting with you, you must be okay. Or you must at least not be terrible because I trust this person's judgment." So as a result, you get the benefit of that. So, it's really a matter of where you end up, which circles you're interacting with, who you're interacting with, what you're saying, and how you're being positioned among those people.
Chris: And start out by just being you, don't you think?
David: Yes, Absolutely.
Chris: Exactly. Okay, let's talk about action steps for our listeners should they want to start attracting bigger clients.
Action Steps to Start Attracting Bigger Clients
- Identify the larger clients you'd like to attract. Who are they? Where do they live? Where do they interact? How can you reach them?
- Initiate Contact. What will your first contact be? A social media post? A phone call? A direct mail piece? A direct message? What will you say to them to get their attention in a positive way?
- Follow up. Make sure you allocate a percentage of your work week to attracting, qualifying and converting the big clients that you want to have.
- Get help. Schedule a complimentary call with us to discuss this.
David: Okay. So, first thing is you can't catch a whale in a bucket of minnows. So first thing you need to do is that if you are looking to attract bigger clients, you need to identify who those bigger clients are. What types of businesses, what types of individuals, where do they live? How can I reach them? Where do they interact? Are they on social media? If so, where are they on social media? So you need to identify them first and then you have to initiate contact with them. You have to identify what am I going to say first? What is going to be my very first impression they get of me? Is it going to be a social media post? Is it going to be a direct message that I send to them? Is it going to be a phone call? Is it going to be something that I send them in the mail? We get to decide all of those things. So we are entirely in control of those aspects of it. Now if you happen to post something stupid on social media and they happen to see it, well then you have less control over that. But that's just a good reminder not to post stuff that's too terribly stupid on social media.
David: But when you're identifying who they are in advance and you are making a concerted effort to do it. So that will be the second point is that you've got to decide, you make a decision that you're going to pursue these people and you're going to implement some tactics that are designed to attract them. You start getting those things in place and then you follow up. You make sure that you are consistently working on attracting, qualifying and converting the biggest clients that you're looking to get in your market. That's the first three steps to getting you there.
Chris: I love it. And you know what? I think it's really also letting go of that fear of “Oh, working with a bigger client” and finding a place where you're comfortable doing that. And if you make that part of your approach and use these steps, you're going to be attracting bigger clients faster than you thought.
David: Exactly. And when you're creating value for them, they're going to love you to death.
Chris: Boy, it's so simple, isn't it? So simple and yet difficult. So that's why we have topsecrets.com and the Total Market Domination course. And David, tell everybody what happens if they go to topsecrets.com/call.
David: Okay! Well, if you're looking to grow your sales and profits and you'd like to have a conversation about how we may be able to help you do that, you can go to topsecrets.com/call. We will have a conversation about the types of people you're looking to reach, the markets that you want to dominate, what you're doing with your messaging and whether or not we have a fit to work together. If we do, great, even if we don't, you will get tremendous value from the conversation, so I encourage you to do that, if it sounds like something you'd like to do.
Chris: Okay, let's talk about what's coming up in our next podcast.
David: All right, next time we'll be talking about earning more money in less time.
Chris: Sounds like a great follow on to attracting bigger clients.
Chris: Thank you, David. I will see you on the next podcast.
David: Thanks Chris.
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