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Tips for Targeting Prospective Clients when offering a Service (Part 1)

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by Startacus Admin

Tips for Targeting Prospective Clients when offering a Service (Part 1)...targeting prospective clients

So, you’ve identified a problem, you reckon you have a solution, and you’ve only gone ahead and started a service business. Happy Days!

However, unless you come armed with a list of clients (who you already service / supply / support) the chances are you will be starting off with very few or no active business clients to work with.

So what do you do and how do you do it? It may seem like a rather daunting situation, especially when you are starting out for yourself for the first time. The reality is that some of the tips we highlight may be in fact pretty obvious, however unless you have a lots of business 2 business experience, you may easily miss out on them and they are actually simple yet basic pointers which can make a great deal of difference.

With this in mind, check out part 1 of what may become a very long list!

1. Identify your targets

Ideally you need to have already done this part of the process, before doing any of the red tape and administration of starting a business. After all if you don't know your target market you don't really have a business. But an immediate exercise to undertake would be to create a target list (hit list) of businesses that you would like to work with. It might also be advantageous to create a list that is realistic! Create three lists: businesses you think you can work with immediately, businesses you think it will take 3-6 months to develop relationships with, and a list of ideal clients that it might take 6 months to 2 years to develop core business with. Nowt wrong with having long term aspirations, but also it’s important to appreciate the immediate necessity to develop commercial relationships.

2. Use a Database and Record

Unless you have an amazing memory, you will need to have a proper system, spreadsheet, database....whatever works for you really that you can use to record the activity, calls, emails and information you send.

Unless you hit it lucky the first time you make a call, send some marketing info etc, the chances are you will be targeting your prospective business clients for at least the foreseeable. Don't make the mistake of not recording all the work you do to get to that point, as it will come in handy in the future.

3. Introductions

Before you attempt to make first verbal contact with the decision maker of said business, you need to do a few things, namely: find out who the decision maker is, find out the best way to contact them and unless you are really experienced in sales - leave it there! After you have done this initial research, follow up with a formal / ‘formal enough’ letter or email to at least set the scene and explain who you are and what you are looking to offer.

4. Get past the gatekeeper

The chances are you ain't going to get straight in front of the decision maker, or speak to the decision maker on day one. So our tip here is just as much about common courtesy - make sure that you treat the receptionist, PA, person who answers the door with the same respect as you would the big bad boss. They ain't commonly known as gatekeepers for nothing - they are the ones who will metaphorically open the gates to let you in, or kept them tightly locked - and your attitude and persona goes a long way to how tightly that gate remains closed!

Be back next week with 4 more handy tips! 

You like this post? You might also want to take a read of Making Sales Calls - the Basics, Tips on making the most from Business Meetings and recent guest post Basic Practical Tips for Starting a Business

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Published on: 21st July 2013

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