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Unread 24th August 2011, 10:27 AM   #1
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Default How to Drum Up Business Fast

There was a great thread a few weeks ago about using thank you notes to bring in more business in a flash and I thought I'd share a few ideas of what has worked for me.

When you need new business now, the best place to go really IS your current and past clients because you don't need to re-sell them on working with you. They know you're good and like your work and just need a reason to hire you again or a reminder that you're there.

And ezines are great, but let's face it, we're all probably opening fewer and fewer of them these days as our mail boxes get stuffed to the gills.

I have tried the thank you note thing and that can work--the one downside is that they have to actually look up your email or phone number to contact you. So you can still sit on their to-do list a little while.

So I'll often reach out by email instead--a personal message from me to them that does at least one of the following things...
  • Asks how their project is going (i.e. converting)
  • Includes a few suggestions on tweaking the copy or format now that it's been up a little while
  • Congratulates them on a recent award or press coverage
  • Responds to something in their email newsletter
  • Includes a link to an article, study or other resource that I know is pertinent for them (e.g. Have you seen this?)
  • Mentions something I noticed their competition is doing
  • Asks how something personal in their life is going (if there was something going on when we last worked together)
  • Offers a product or marketing idea they can use
The emails are always low key and short but because they're personal (I usually use a subject line like "Checking In," "Following Up" or "An Idea for You" so it's clear it's not a newsletter), I get a response probably 90% of the time.

Sometimes they just say thanks or we exchange a few emails about whatever it is I sent and that's that.

But you'd be surprised how often, they say, "I've been thinking about contacting you..."

And because it's an email, it's easy for them to do--all they have to do is hit reply!

It doesn't matter how long ago the client was either.

I recently had a client respond who I hadn't worked with in several years and who hadn't responded to a few other efforts to reach out.

But she'd sent me an email mentioning her new site a few months before and when I finally got a chance to look at it, I mentioned that something was confusing. I actually wasn't even trolling for a project, just trying to be helpful. But she replied three days later asking me to redo the copy for the home page and more projects are in the works.

I also sent a thank you note to another client I haven't worked with since last year, and she emailed and called me a week later to find out if I was interested in being included for an RFP they'll be putting out soon.

So how do I find things to write them about?
  • The best way I've found is to subscribe to their ezine. That gives me an easy opening plus reminds me to check in with them every so often. And if I decide it's time to reconnect, I can take a quick look to see what they've been up to.
  • I've also set up Google alerts for some of my best customers so I know when things are happening with them.
  • Just keeping my eyes open when I see articles about something in their industry.
  • Visiting their social media sites to see if there's anything interesting to comment on, or to Friend, Follow, Link In with them if I don't already
  • Going to marketing news websites to see if there's anything that could be relevant to them (since I figure they're less likely to have seen it)
  • When all else fails, I hit Google and search for news related to their industry over the past month
I tend to only reach out to a handful of clients at most at a time, but new business nearly always comes out of it.

(Note: I only reach out to those clients I liked working with. LOL)

Anyway, I hope some of these ideas that have helped me out of a cash crunch a number of times in the past 8 years can help someone else do the same!

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Unread 24th August 2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to Drum Up Business Fast

That was an AWESOME Post!

Thank you for that! It really just outlines what people should be doing instead of pitching their business to someone up front! Keep Rocking!

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Unread 24th August 2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to Drum Up Business Fast

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Originally Posted by joshcoffy View Post
That was an AWESOME Post!

Thank you for that! It really just outlines what people should be doing instead of pitching their business to someone up front! Keep Rocking!
Glad you liked it, Josh! And you're right--some of those strategies could be used to build a relationship with people before you pitch them as well.

I forgot to say one other thing I do when they do have more work is send them an invoice with a link to either my shopping cart or paypal (it depends on the client) so I get make sure the money is in my account quickly.

I've also (if it hasn't been too long since I worked with them) just ask them if they'd like to charge the same card as before. That way I don't even have to wait for them to do it!

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Unread 24th August 2011, 01:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to Drum Up Business Fast

Excellent post, Tracy, and very workable by anybody. I was actually thinking about revisiting some of my older clients the other day and now I have a great formula to do so.

Google alerts are a hidden gem as I've often used them to mention snippets of info in niches I'm into in blogs and social media alerts - so nice to connect the dots here in another way.

Thanks again!!

V

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Unread 24th August 2011, 09:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to Drum Up Business Fast

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Originally Posted by Vanessa Reece View Post
Excellent post, Tracy, and very workable by anybody. I was actually thinking about revisiting some of my older clients the other day and now I have a great formula to do so.

Google alerts are a hidden gem as I've often used them to mention snippets of info in niches I'm into in blogs and social media alerts - so nice to connect the dots here in another way.

Thanks again!!

V
Thanks, Vanessa! Glad you liked it. And yes, it's great to keep going back to them from time to time. Love Google Alerts--just wish the ones for my own name didn't bring me a bunch of junk that isn't me! (The downside of having the same name as an actress LOL)

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Unread 24th August 2011, 10:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to Drum Up Business Fast

I like your tip about mentioning something the competitions is doing.

Good business owners like to see what the competitors are doing. And good competitors like to stay on top and out in front of their competition.

So this leaves them with the question in their head? 'hmmm I wonder if I should be doing that'

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Unread 24th August 2011, 11:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to Drum Up Business Fast

Important point about this is to do it with sincerity...

If you are doing it with obvious ulterior motives, it will anger people...

But if you do it with the mindset of just keeping the door open, more doors will open...

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Unread 27th August 2011, 02:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to Drum Up Business Fast

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpw View Post
Important point about this is to do it with sincerity...

If you are doing it with obvious ulterior motives, it will anger people...

But if you do it with the mindset of just keeping the door open, more doors will open...
You're right--you have to do it with sincerity. I definitely do so I guess I didn't think others might not. LOL But I get too attached sometimes to my clients' results so I am always looking for ways to help them.

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Unread 27th August 2011, 02:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to Drum Up Business Fast

Quote:
Originally Posted by celente View Post
I like your tip about mentioning something the competitions is doing.

Good business owners like to see what the competitors are doing. And good competitors like to stay on top and out in front of their competition.

So this leaves them with the question in their head? 'hmmm I wonder if I should be doing that'
You're right. And it's something they probably don't do enough of (looking to see what they're competitors are doing)!

Get You (& Your Offline Customers!) More Sales, More Clients & More Money! 3 Easy Systems + the special secret sauce... TESTIMONIAL T.N.T.

Discover Easy Tweaks to Get Visitors to Buy NOW
It's all here in The Sales Supercharger!

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