Updated: Apr 13
If you're in business, you're most likely always looking for ways to bring in new clients. Sometimes, it can feel like there's no easy way, but there is if you know what methods to use. Here are our top prospecting methods and how to do them effectively.
1. LinkedIn Lead Lists
Email marketing is often frowned upon, and with things like Apple's new Privacy Settings, email campaigns can be harder to get to your intended target. Emails still have their place, but I strongly believe they are more likely to get ignored. The better option, therefore, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is probably the most powerful tool you can use to help bring in new clients, and it doesn't have to cost a penny.
The first thing you need is a client persona profile. If you don't know the profiles of those you want to work with, how will you know who to target? A client persona gives details of the individual person, their gender, their likes, and dislikes, and even what newspaper they read or car they drive. Their habits and what's important to them. You might not need to be as in-depth as that, but you definitely need to know the industry you are targeting, the profession, the seniority level of the individual you need to contact, their job title, geographic location, and maybe even how many years of experience they have.
With that information, you can create an accurate lead list in Sales Navigator, or a filtered list in Linkedin. Use the link below to get a free template to build your own client persona.
Once you have your filtered list, now you need to decide how to approach your ideal client, let's look at the options.
2. Direct Messaging - No Beating About the Bush
There are two methods to approaching potential clients on LinkedIn, the first is just going in with a blind message. The idea is to personalise your message, and not to make it too salesy. Use their name, and indicate any shared connections you have, particularly if those shared connections are current clients of yours. Tell them what you're offering and ask them if they would be interested in booking a call to discuss this in more detail.
There are lots of people out there who will tell you to cut out leaving the ball in their court and instead go for the more direct approach; "so, what time can you be free for a call tomorrow"? But I think this can rub people up the wrong way and is a bit too presumptuous, especially if you haven't warmed up the lead yet, which you won't have done by going for the direct message approach.
Some people don't like this method, they prefer a longer sequence that's intended to build trust which we'll get to in a moment, but, depending on your industry, I think this works really well. You qualify your leads without wasting lots of time "working" your potential client, only to discover they aren't interested anyway.
This can be time-consuming so you might want to outsource this task to someone on your team or a Virtual Assistant. Now, let's look at the warm-up approach.
3. Warming Up Your Leads
This method of prospecting requires a little more effort, and a lot more time and patience. It looks a little bit like this:
Connect with your potential client on LinkedIn > Wait 1 week, then send them a message to say hi > Wait another week, send another message, this time offering them something of value, perhaps a link to a great freebie > wait another week > Send a follow-up message to check in how they got on with the freebie you sent to them > wait again, depending on their response, tell them why you find the freebie so useful...
This is just an example but it goes on until you tell them more about you and your service and invite them to book a call with you. This method works better for industries that would normally have their emails ignored. Your typical SEO company or marketing company for example. The idea is to build trust, to let your ideal client get to know you first, before going in for the kill.
It's a long, drawn-out method that certainly has its place, which you decide to use depends on your comfort level.
Here's an example of what the process looks like on a Trello Board. I highly recommend using a Kanban-style system to keep track of the process. If you don't think you will have time for this, outsourcing to a staff member or Virtual Assistant is always a good idea.
4. Direct Mail - No, Not Email, the Old Fashioned Kind
Another great way to prospect, new clients, is to send out direct mailshots. This might seem a bit old-fashioned, and perhaps even more expensive, but it's a method that not everyone is likely to be doing, and could get you noticed ahead of everyone else.
Have some letters printed, and spend some time finding the right people to send them to. You don't want to just send these to a generic person, you want to get them in front of key decision-makers.
Make your letter stand out by sending it in a brightly coloured envelope. You know how it feels when we get a letter in the post and the envelope stands out, we want to open it first!
5. The Dreaded Cold Call
I actually really don't like this method, and it's not a service we offer at L.T. VA Services either. Mainly because back in my younger days I worked in telesales and it is brutal. It's a lot of pressure to put on someone, both the person making the call and the one receiving it. However, it might have its place so I thought I would mention it.
Just like in methods 2 and 3 you would build your client list first, then ideally, instead of going straight in for the kill, you would warm up, connect on LinkedIn and perhaps send an email, before making a phone call.
There are other methods of course, but in my opinion, any one of these could be happening on a consistent, daily basis, without your input. These are all methods you could task someone else with, whilst you get on with more important forms of prospecting, such as networking, being the face of the business, and building trust amongst your audience.
If you're interested in taking on a VA to help you with this, book a call: