Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Modern Approach to New Client Acquisition

A few weeks ago, my friend AJ Lawrence of The Jar Group said something that got my brain working.

"Instead of making a cold call to customers, we make a warm zone around them."

He's right. We desperately need a modern approach to new client acquisition. 

It’s about courting. Instead of trying to make a sale to someone, earn the right to start a relationship with someone.

It’s about anticipation. Instead of hanging your fortunes solely on chance, make friends before you make requests so you’re not speaking from a deficit position.

It’s about research. Instead of pretending to know everything, you study the ecosystem around their business and discover insight worth sharing.

It’s about permission. Instead of darkening customer doorsteps, work creatively and respectfully to earn the privilege of following up.

It’s about respecting. Instead of sending prospects an article of interest, publish content that turns their brand into the article of interest itself.

It’s about generosity. Instead of being selfish with knowledge, obtain information of high value and help at a high level first.

It’s about positioning. Instead of showing up as a service provider, come in as a strategist so you’re treated as an equal partner.

It’s about understanding. Instead of artificially squeezing your product into their overcrowded lives, help people become better at what’s important to them.

It’s about relaxing. Instead of being the hero who swoops in to solve the customer’s problem, be the friend who stands as a fixture in the customer’s life.  

It’s about prioritizing. Instead of trying to close everyone everywhere, place value on building the relationship over making the sale.

Sure beats cold calls, direct mail and print ads.