Looking for Clients in All the Wrong Places

Who doesn't need more clients?   Isn't it great when you've good a full practice and can't take on any more clients?     But then, you get too busy to market, finish up with a few clients and all of a sudden you don't have enough clients.  What do you do then?  First off, don't ever STOP marketing & business development, but that's a topic for another day.   Most of the people I meet with start networking a whole lot and drive themselves crazy.  They are trying to find clients from people they don't know and groups they've never been involved with.  This is good if you aren't a member of any groups and don't know a lot of people - but if you've been in business for more than a few years that isn't going to be the case.  It also really takes time to build quality relationships and become known and respected in an organization - more time than you probably have if you really need clients.  It's a very good long-term strategy and can sometimes pay off in the short-term, but it won't reliably get you clients NOW.

So where is the best place to start if you have been in business more than a few years?  Your desk!  That's right, the file of your existing clients, friends and contacts that's on your computer or your rolodex.   This sadly neglected area is where most businesses fall flat.  They don't do a good job of staying in touch and following up.

Following up with people is how you maintain and grow relationships.  It's also the best way of getting clients quickly.  Start having conversations with people who you know and who already know (and hopefully like) you.    Catch up with them and find out what's going on in their lives.   Rekindle and strengthen that relationship.  See if there's something that  you can help them with (not making a sale).  Who do you know that can help them?

You're a lot more likely to get business from someone who already knows and likes you than from a complete stranger.   If you haven't talked with them in a while, there's a good chance they really need some reminding of what you do and what  you're working on right now.  Once you remind them, it's also a good chance that they know someone who needs something similar, or perhaps they could use some services from you themselves (especially past clients and people who have referred you before).

Make it a point to talk to good clients (past or present) and referral partners at least quarterly on the phone or in person.  Send out newsletters.   Send personal cards for major occasions.   Keep in touch.   It's fairly easy to do once you get in the habit of it, and it pays huge dividends.

Endless Referrals, by Bob Burg, is an excellent resource if you want more information on how to follow up.

The best place to find new business quickly is people you already know.