You have your business plan. You have your business cards, but now what? Finding and signing new clients seems easier in thought, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to even start. We’ve created a four-part action plan based on our experience to help you start making some big moves.
1.Choose the right people
As an entrepreneur, the biggest mistake you can make is initially trying to appeal to everyone. Before contacting a potential client, ask yourself the following questions:
- What value can I provide this company/person?
- Do my skills match what they need? When have I demonstrated them previously (provide examples of your work)?
- What is my motivation for taking on this project?
Start-up clients directly dictate your brand and its perception. If you aren’t invested in your work, the client will know, and your business will suffer. Take on clients you are excited to work with, want to exemplify the future of your business and its client base, and truly believe you have the skills to accomplish their tasks.
2.Break out the tool belt
Whether you got a hit on a social media post or did some investigating on LinkedIn, there are tons of free tools you can use to know more than the person’s name. Start with basic contact information. Email Hunter is a free extension for most browsers providing you with the basic email address structure of the company based on other employees. Just like magic, you can directly contact the person you’re trying to reach.
When targeting larger companies, sometimes it can feel impossible to identify who decides your fate. First, don’t get discouraged if you contact the wrong person. Speak to the employee about their pain points and develop a better pitch for the decision maker. After speaking, ask if you can be connected with an individual better suited for the discussion.
If you’re stuck, DiscoverOrg provides the business’ structure and chain of command. Using those tools from earlier, identify the email address, and contact away!
4.Create a strategy
Whether you meet someone at a networking event or did research online, remember the cliché: you can’t have a second chance to make a first impression. Identify the three main points of your pitch: why you do what you do, how you do it, and what your service or product is. Your commitment to your idea will shine through in person, but the key is producing the same passion over email.
Start with warming up your cold calls and emails. If you met someone at an event, reference something specific they said and show you did research after speaking with them, too. Then ask a specific question about current or future plans to accomplish a service you could provide. Finally, ask if he or she would be interested in meeting to discuss the topic further.