Do you pursue clients, or do you attract them?
While both methods of finding new business work to some degree, finding the right prospects through attraction is a lot more fun and–for professionals and entrepreneurs who provide individualized service to their clients–it’s usually more effective than finding them by pursuit.
Related: The prospect predisposition
Attraction methods involve drawing prospective clients to you: People who relate to you, people who have an interest in what you have to offer, people who share your values and beliefs, and people who believe…in you. If you do it right, the people you attract are your ideal prospects. It’s a natural, comfortable, professional, and self-perpetuating process.
Pursuing clients, on the other hand, means spending a great deal of time and money on efforts such as social media advertising, e-blasts, or casting a huge, expensive fishing net of direct mailings to catch the next great client. One of the problems associated with this method is that people are so inundated with marketing messages that repeated mailings and advertising are necessary before someone will actually respond. This means more and more expense.
When the growth of your business relies on pursuing prospects, rather than on attracting them, the effort to find new prospects through these same methods is continual. If you stop the pursuit, the flow of prospects stops, too.
Attraction, on the other hand, has just two self-sustaining components:
Being “attractive,” and Giving your target clients an opportunity to connect with you.
Being attractive. By being attractive, I don’t mean having an attractive appearance, although you do need to have a professional appearance. An easy way to understand this is to ask what kind of people you are attracted to–in the business sense. Who do you enjoy being around and working with? What character/personality traits do they have? What is it about them that attracts you?
Some traits are universally attractive: personal integrity, having a life purpose, and passion, for instance. People want to be around a person who is clear about who he or she is and what matters to him or her. Such a person is often viewed as a leader.
If you want to be attractive in business, become clear about what matters to you, and then work to develop a clean and concise way to let others know what that is.
Giving your target clients an opportunity to connect with you. There are a number of ways to give others an opportunity to be with you. Most of these involve getting out of your office and interacting with them. That means going where your prospective clients can be found, talking to them, and letting them know what you are all about — not just as a professional or business owner, but as a person.
Attraction methods include serving your clients on a level that makes them want to tell others about you, and learning to ask them to connect you with more people like them. It also includes speaking and writing about what you do.
By sharing about yourself, you allow others to understand who you are. Once people see who you are, you will attract the ones who relate best to you.
In the meantime, keep REACHING…
Sandy Schussel has been a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals for the past 20 years. He is an approved MDRT coach and has served as the national sales training director for First Investors and Foresters. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients.