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Figuring out how to attract new clients is often the biggest challenge in new home and freelance businesses. It’s natural to want to sit back and let them come to you, but that’s not always a solid business plan. Especially in the beginning or if your business is low on clients.
We asked these experts to share their tips on how to approach a potential client and pitch your ideas without coming across as desperate or condescending.
1) If I see a company I might want to work with, I usually start by researching them on Google and then on LinkedIn to see if we might share a connection that might introduce me.
2) I always make a connection to other similar clients I’ve worked with, as in, I have extensive experience working with clients in the manufacturing and industrial sectors. And I make sure I have examples of that work ready to send, if I’m asked.
3) I include in my pitch some of my background, as in, I’ve been writing and helping clients with PR for XX years. My clients have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and on the ABC Evening News, among many other media outlets. Or I customize it for their industry with vertical publications I may have worked with.
4) I also check them out on social media and follow them, if they appear to be active. You can learn a lot about a company by looking at its social media feeds. (Side note: Sadly, many are not are active, which is another way I might be able to help them, so I make a note of that for a future conversation. It’s a bit surprising how many clients have asked me to help
them with social media in the past year.)
1) Learn as much as possible about your prospect. Use tools such as Google News to find news about the prospect company and industry.
2) Craft your outreach messaging around the challenges that you can solve for the prospect.
3) Use a pre-planned cadence of outreach phone calls and emails. Automate emails and call reminders using tools such as HubSpot’s Sequences.
1) Review as much pertinent information as you can regarding the company (website, articles, etc.). Consider how you can add value to their business and/or potential business challenges.
2) Use LinkedIn to determine what connections, if any, may have relationships with the potential client. Use this as an opportunity to get more insight.
3) When reaching out to the potential client (via LinkedIn, email or phone), make sure offer how you can bring value to them specifically. Also, this will help you better understand if the client is truly a good fit for you.
4) Understand how you are different than others trying to speak to this same client. Be able to quickly articulate what sets you apart (but avoid doing so in an salesy way).
5) Finally, when given the chance to talk directly with a potential client, try to listen as much as possible. Take cues from their comments as to what issues are the most important from their perspective, as you can then speak their language when explaining how you can bring value to their business.
1) Start by defining your ideal client. This will allow you to be very specific about who you go after so that you’re talking to the right clients and not wasting time on the wrong ones.
2) Create a list of clients that fit your ideal profile. Do some research on them. Figure out who is the decision maker, if your clients are companies, and what matters to them.
3) Reach out with a very targeted email showing that you’ve done their research and you understand what they care about. This allows you to the offer your services to solve their problems.
“Try not to ever approach a client cold. This means you should try introducing yourself, getting to know them and adding value before you ever try to pitch anything. People buy from those they know, trust, and like, so make sure they know, trust and like you before you pitch. ”
Note from Leslie
I don’t work with clients, but I do help people find work-at-home jobs, and I’ve noticed that many of the tips here are similar to what I recommend job seekers do, such as, learn about the clients, try to find a connection to refer you, and make your pitch directly related to how you can help them with a specific problem.
Even when you get to the point you’re getting referrals, knowing something about the clients and creating a pitch that speaks to their specific issues will make you stand out from the crowd.