Dream Client

If you want to win your dream clients, you have to nurture relationships with those people over time. You have to make the deposits that help you become known as a value creator, someone they can turn to for guidance.

Here are 5 rules for nurturing your dream clients (and avoiding the mistakes most salespeople make:

1.     It must come from you. If something shows up in your dream client’s inbox from marketing—even if it has your name on it—it’s spam. You are the one nurturing the relationship, so any deposit made toward that relationship must necessarily come from you. Later, you are going to ask for your dream client’s time, so you must do the nurturing.

2.     It must not be behind a wall. Let’s say you have some killer piece of content your dream client might benefit from reading. If you send a link to that content which requires him to enter his name, email address and phone number in order to download it, you are not nurturing the relationship. Send him the white paper, case study or idea directly.

3.     It must contain a personal note. If the note you send is written by marketing and intended to be used in every email you send, it is not nurturing. You have to send your communication with a personal note, and it’s even more powerful if you know something about your dream client and can include it. Without the personal note, we’re back to spam.

4.     It must contain a valuable, actionable idea. (This is where some people get a little cross with me.) If you send something to your dream client with the intention of making a deposit toward your relationship, it has to be something of value. You have to be prepared to share a valuable idea, even though your dream client may use that idea without hiring you. If you want to be known as a value creator, you have to share valuable ideas. Nothing less will do.

5.     It must not contain an ask. If you are making a deposit toward a relationship, make it. But don’t also attempt to make a withdrawal at or near the time of a deposit. It goes like this: deposit, deposit, deposit, withdrawal. When you are nurturing, nurture. When you are asking, ask.

Relationships are the basis of every successful business, and relationships take time. Instead of rushing toward the sales finish line, nurture your dream clients and provide them with the value they need.

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at CapitalUniversity’s Schoolof Managementand Leadership. For more information, go http://thesalesblog.com/s-anthony-iannarino/