Do you have the right Client Acquisition process?

One of the biggest reasons some businesses fail to reach their true potential is due to the lack of any systematic approach to generating enough high-quality leads. However, the real battle isn’t getting the leads into the sales funnel, it’s an inability to turn those leads into customers.

Take companies in the professional service sectors for example. Most can go from surviving to thriving with the generation of 6-8 new clients. This means, to succeed, you need to beef up your Lead Generation activities with a Client Acquisition process.

Consider this. If you tasked yourself with getting a defined number of appointments each week and made this your number one goal, rather than just collecting email addresses. What do you think would happen to your client acquisition rate?

Example: Company A has a goal to increase revenue by £250,000 in 12 months and operates on a £500 per month retainer basis. How many new clients would that company need to hit their target increase of £250,000 in 12 months?

The answer is 42 Clients

What growth is your company targeting? How many qualified appointments would you need to close your target number of clients? There is YOUR focus.

Even if a contact doesn’t end up becoming a client, this professional and systematic approach will distinguish you as someone who has a reputation of delivering value, whether you win them or not.

So where do you start?

Strip away EVERYONE you can help and focus on the people you can help THE MOST and THE FASTEST. This is the audience that you need to build. They’re everywhere if you look close enough.

It can be done using your Lead Generation activities or through a bought in list. Even existing clients. What about Facebook or here on LinkedIn? It really doesn’t matter how you build the list. The key lies in the next step: To deliver value using content upgrades.

A content upgrade is offering content which is highly attractive to your target audience. When people view that content, they are offered something even more insightful and even more valuable, so much so that it drives them to complete a specific action in order to get the upgrade.

If you’ve researched your audience and targeted them correctly then the likelihood is that they’re going to be interested in what you send them. And even more interested in getting the free content upgrade.

When they sign up for this premium content – which could be via a simple “enter your email address to download our template”, they are signalling to you that they are now even more interested in what you have to say.

Sound great? Are you looking for the catch?

For all of this to work, you need to do your research – ideally conduct persona profiling so you can identify and address an obvious BIG problem that your target customer has.

Example: Company A provides specialist financial advice. They have identified opportunities where they can help business owners with their tax planning. Company A has uncovered a challenge surrounding issues relating to rising company car tax.

The topic could be: Are you trying to get a better car for the same tax costs? A blog would be written around the problem, making sure it’s packed full of valuable insights. Maybe even provide an educational explainer video on the subject. Once this core content communication has been created, then the upgrade can be included. In this scenario, a free tax comparison tool could be offered as the content upgrade.

Once you have your content communication and content upgrade in place, then promote the upgrade like crazy, through email or social media.

The conversions will soon start to roll in. When they do, qualify them rigorously to see if you actually want to work with this potential client. Do they still meet the persona profiling criteria of your ideal client? If the answer is yes, then respond to them personally.

Remember, we are only talking small numbers here, so personal is doable. The response needs to be crafted in a way which makes the recipient feel like what you’re offering is just for them.

This last step is to give them another value rich offer they can’t refuse. Remember, these are people who have already signalled their interest in the content upgrade, so it’s highly likely that they are going to be very interested in this next step. This final step is the only sure way to move these leads along the sales pipeline from “interested” to “actual” clients.

Ask them if they would like you to show them how to do what you recommended they should do in order to solve their problem. Using the example above, it would go something like this. “Would you like me to show you how you can reward your employees with a higher value company car for the same tax cost?”

Put a disclaimer in “Even though I know I can help you get back a significant portion of your annual tax liabilities, I need to warn you that I can’t help everyone. I can only help people who are willing to invest a bit of time upfront and work hard at getting a return on what I ask them to do.” Then offer them a choice of 2 time slots to secure the appointment.

Remember. These aren’t sales appointments. These are consultations where you offer an hour of your valuable time to help to build a plan of action (specifically starting with the original problem you identified in your opening communication.)

Try this approach on your next campaign and let me know how much more effective you were in converting leads to appointments.