Where have all of the great clients gone? It’s a question we ask ourselves at various points in our business growth. Business naturally cycles up and down. But sometimes it’s not natural. Sometimes, we’ve done it to ourselves. I know that isn’t what you want to hear. But it’s what you need to hear. Listen up, and learn the value of marketing and selling consistently. I also give you my top tip for making sure this happens every day.
Here’s the podcast episode:
Or if you’d rather watch the video:
We’re going to talk about the eternal question of consultants and agencies everywhere. Where have all the great clients gone? Where are all the great clients? I see this question everywhere online. People have asked me this in person too. They feel like the well has run dry, or like everyone else is getting great clients and they’re not. The revenue is low, things are not looking great. Do I need to get a job? Where are all the great clients?
Maintain a Healthy Sales Pipeline
If every single person in your company works on client work, who is working on the business? If you have people who work on client work and the business, you can run into issues.
This is because many business owners fail to consistently market, work, and follow up on their leads. This causes bottlenecks in your sales pipeline.
Imagine an actual pipeline made out of rubber. It can flex as intake builds up.
So you have portions of your pipeline that are bulky and clogged up. You have so many people at a particular spot because you don’t help them move to the next step: buying from you or not. (Yes, not buying from you is a step in the process!)
People who aren’t actually going to buy from you clog up your pipeline. You need to get them out, in order to make room and make things move smoothly. If you can do that, that’s great.
But it’s important to know that failing to follow up is a serious reason why hot leads go warm, warm leads go cold, and then it just doesn’t make sense to follow up anymore. So you have to do it consistently. It’s something you have to build into your routine.
Devote Some Time to Marketing and Sales Duties
If you’re one of those people with a dual hat, where you work in the business and on the business, then you likely have marketing or sales duties. Cut out the first hour of your day to do something related to that every single day.
If you say, “I’ll do it after I take care of client work,” you’ll turn around and it’ll be 4 PM, then 5 PM, then 6 PM… Then it’s time to leave, and you haven’t done any of that.
The point is that you need a healthy pipeline for a healthy business. A pipeline cultivates an interest in your business, whether that’s referrals, content marketing, paid advertising, etc. You’re consistently doing it to get people to come into your company and work with you.
Manage Your Feast and Famine Cycles
A healthy pipeline will also help keep your feast and famine cycles manageable.
The feast is great. You want your feast cycle to be as big as possible, but you don’t want to ever have a time where you’re earning $0.
That’s what happens to some small companies, freelancers, solopreneurs, etc. There are times when they don’t know where the next dollar is coming from.
You don’t want your business built that way, and having that healthy sales pipeline is what prevents that. You will have months that are lower than others, but it shouldn’t be 0. Nobody can live on 0.
You May Have Too Many Clients
Sometimes it seems like all the great clients are gone, but it could be that you’ve relaxed your marketing and sales because you’ve got a lot of client work.
You’re in a feast cycle, but don’t let that distract you from the necessary sales and marketing that you need to get done.
Make Some Uncomfortable Changes
It could also be that you need to do something differently.
You’re thinking, “Wait, Ruthie, no! This is working so well for me!” And my response would be, “No, it did work well for you, but now you may need to do something different.”
Maybe what worked to get these types of clients doesn’t work as well now that you’re seeking a different kind of client. Maybe you’ve exhausted all the easiest leads that you could possibly get with this type of client.
Utilize a CRM
How many people have you added to your CRM recently? If you’re experiencing a famine cycle, you don’t know where your next dollar is coming from.
CRM is a customer relationship management tool. I use Agile CRM [<— that’s my affiliate link, but if you choose to buy with Agile, the price doesn’t change for you!], and I think they’re great. They’re within the budget for a lot of businesses and they have many capabilities.
Anyway, if you’re asking what a CRM is, you need to go get one. This is how you keep up with everyone you’ve spoken to. You should be speaking with a lot of people, whether they’re referrals, you meet them at events, or on social media.
You need to keep track of these people, and you can’t just keep them all in your head. That’s where businesses fail. Something important dies off in somebody’s mind. They forget, they don’t attend to it. You have to get it documented in order to delegate it.
Add New Linkedin Connections
How many LinkedIn connections have you added lately? You may be saying, “I don’t know. I haven’t really been adding people on Linkedin.” You should be.
Linkedin is a great place to connect with people, make that initial outreach, and help them get to know you.
Need to update your LinkedIn profile? Check out our Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Business infographic!
Attend Events and Conferences
When was the last time you attended a conference or an event? And if you do regularly attend events in your local area, when was the last time you went to a new one?
New events typically mean new people. You may be going to events and seeing the same faces all the time. Not that this isn’t great for cultivating and growing relationships.
You’re seeing people consistently, they get used to seeing you. They trust you, they like you. But you also need to make new relationships and meet new people.
When was the last time you went to a new event that you typically don’t have on your calendar? I try to do that at least once a month. I can meet new people and make new connections, or see current connections in a new environment.
If that current connection meets people at the same event, they could introduce me to people that I don’t know yet. This is a great opportunity. New events, new people. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
Strategies Your Ideal Client Would Be Attracted by
If you’ve been doing the same types of marketing and sales, and you’re not getting the results you used to, you need to change it up. This even includes email marketing.
You’re thinking, “Ruthie, I email new people all the time.” This ties back to my earlier point. Maybe the sorts of clients you’re looking for now have changed.
Let’s say I need to get a new client. I decide to offer a deal on blog posts. If you commit to 10 blog posts and pay 50% upfront, I’ll give you 2 free.
That only works with a certain type of customer. If you’ve switched the type of customer that you’re looking more of, then that won’t work for a good majority of them.
Some clients are not concerned with numbers; they’re concerned with results. So instead of leading with something like that, you need to lead with results.
Do you see how that would change? I’d say continue doing your email marketing, but you may need to change your email.
Alright, that’s been an episode of The Defiant Business Podcast, and that’s where all your great clients went. They went somewhere you’re not looking.
It’s really hard to be in that position where you’re thinking, “No, you’re wrong, Ruthie. The clients are just gone.” They’re not.
You’re going to have to do something different, and it’s probably going to be outside of your comfort zone. If it doesn’t scare you at least a little bit, you’re not doing enough.
So get out there, get a little scared, and do enough.