Client outreach is a huge part of business development. Yet most sales folks are stuck using methods that are outdated or just ineffective. Should you continue cold calls? Mass emails?
The best way to approach a new client is to look for ways to genuinely build a relationship with them.
Here are some tips on how to attract new clients
Use Content To Share Your Expertise
First, start with blogging about the needs of your clients. I would encourage you to create a blog schedule and begin publishing regularly. The topics of those blogs should be very, very specific to the needs of your ideal customer. For example, “3 Ways Your Transportation Company Can Save You Time” or “3 Ways To Ship Your Product Cheaper” (these are just examples, you’ll obviously need to weigh in).
The point is, a blog title like this is likely to catch the attention of a busy operations director — if he is looking for cheap/fast/on-time, you can step in with your expertise to offer ways he can achieve this goal. (I am not familiar with the industry, so please excuse my broad assumptions.)
If you have a way of selling lanes, loading trucks differently, changing drop-off/pick-up times, etc, etc, etc — you can offer this advice to your ideal customer. By you demonstrating this experience, you create value in their eyes and don’t come off as a sales person, but an advisor. You are telling them ways of improving their business without asking for anything.
Once that blog post is done, share it on your LinkedIn profile with some comments. This brings people from LinkedIn to your blog where you can convert them.
Next, to reach a wider audience, pay LinkedIn to boost your post to be seen by a targeted audience (only promote to folks within your industry AND with the job titles that can make decisions).
Build Your Email Subscriber List
Further, have the ability for visitors to your website to subscribe to your blog. The mail list is the most valuable piece of a marketing profile right now. The ability to reach someone in their mail box is a true measurement of trust.
When you publish a new post, email your following with something similar to:
Subject: [Title of your blog post]
Hey [first name],
I just wanted to share with you the latest [Insert your blog name – and make this a link to your post] blog post. Let me know what you think.
[Insert the title of your blog post – and make this a link to your blog post]
[Insert the first paragraph from your blog post]
[Insert the second paragraph from your blog post] Click to continue [make the “click to continue a link]
[Insert your name].
P.S. [Add a promotional message here]
Make Social Connections
Simultaneously, start adding these ideal folks as connections on LinkedIn. In the connection request message, type something personal (not just the “I’d like to add you to my professional network”)
Create a feed to monitor their brand’s activity on Twitter, LinkedIn, RSS feeds for industry terms, etc. I recommend HootSuite or HubSpot for this type of social listening.
By doing all of this, you’ll see your connections and influence skyrocket. You can judge your efforts by the number of visitors from LinkedIn to your new blog posts. On those posts, you can have a lead conversion form (a downloadable offer of value to these targeted people).
Rinse and repeat. Once you’ve hit the “publish” button, shared it on social media, and connected with new prospects, you do it again.
Answer new questions. Make new relationships. Address new concerns.
This entire process is an ongoing one. It is an investment you make today, for growth tomorrow.
Conclusion & Next Steps
Again, this is a high-level blueprint of the best way to approach new clients. You can take it from here and run, or we can sit down and create a more detailed plan of attack.
Drop me a note, if you want more detail. Or, register for my next webinar where I talk about stuff like this all the time.