“Sara, what should I do to attract new clients in today’s context?”
This is THE question entrepreneurs ask me the most right now.
Sometimes, I hear the following statement instead: “With everything that is going on, it’s impossible to attract new clients.”
To these entrepreneurs, I answer: “Oh, really? Well, that’s an interesting belief…”
Yes, confinement created a different reality – that’s a fact. However, everything is a cycle: we have bull markets and bear markets, we have great economic times and we have recessions, we have times to sow and times to harvest.
Now is the time to sow
In the early stages of any crisis, whether it’s a pandemic, a stock market crash, a recession, etc., the human brain goes into survival mode, and then, little by little, the survival instinct decreases, as we adapt to the new normal.
As time passes, the gradual deconfinement, the arrival of summer and now fall, we’re returning to normalcy. The emotional phase change also explains why you now have business development in mind. Your brain is like, “Okay, this is the new normal. What do we do now?”
To thrive, you need agility
3M, FedEx, Disney, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Whole Food: these are all companies that were launched in times of recession – and they are very successful businesses!
What have these companies shown? Agility.
Your clients have not fundamentally changed. Their basic needs remain their basic needs, humans remain humans. What changed? It’s simply the medium, the way of doing things.
We got used to harvesting: we are coming out of a phase where everything was simple, the market was up, the economy was great, clients were happy, we organized events, we got referrals.
What if it were the same… but differently?
Before, you would end a meeting with a client and open the conversation for a referral. Now you have videoconference meetings.
The meeting is the same: only the medium has changed. If you’ve positioned yourself as a trusted advisor who is “referable” whether the meeting takes place in person or not, that doesn’t change anything.
Adapt to the new medium. Your positioning and your solutions haven’t changed (I repeat: nor the basic needs of your clients).
Before, you organized events to attract new clients. Now you can do webinars – or web conferences – on the same topic, changing the medium.
Fresh start effect
As an added bonus, the barriers to entry have incredibly decreased: no travel, clients can easily share information with those around them, you can share your knowledge on social media, people can attend your web conference from the comfort of their own home, etc.
This is a great opportunity to demonstrate who you are, what you do, and how you do it. It’s called experiential marketing and, to me, it’s the most effective marketing in the advisory industry.
So, how do you grow your business in times of confinement? Be agile. Fundamentally, things are the same, only the mediums have changed.
And that, too, is part of evolution.
In the end, life didn’t change that much. All it takes is a little adaptation.
…because so much more is possible…
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