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Client Acquisition: The Foundation of Business

What do you absolutely need in a business?

As Peter Drucker says “The purpose of a business is to create clients.”

Sure we need to have positive cash flow and some systems to handle people but it all revolves around clients.

So we can break it down and say we need traffic/relationships with people. then we need conversion or the decision to go with us and then we need the product/experience or the offer we’re giving them.

so to lay it out nicely:

  1. relationships with people
  2. decisions (knowing what affects their decisions and how to guide them to make the correct ones)
  3. your offer= service/product

In business it’s about guiding your dream client through a process because what you’re giving to them, as a business, is part service and part product. It doesn’t matter what your business is, you will have a product that they’re getting and the way they receive it is your service to them. If you’re a pizza shop, obviously the pizza is the product but there’s the experience from the moment your customer calls or walks in to when they finish eating the pizza. If they’re in your store it’s easier to control their experience and one thing to look for is consistency. people (subconsciously) love consistency. They’ll even go out of their way to make something consistent.

So when you’re building out relationships with people who have the potential to become your client, what are the first words you say?

In a retail environment think of how many times an employee walks up to a customer and asks the all-too-common question “can I help you with anything?”

the customer inevitably answers “no, I’m just browsing”

What if they asked instead “Hi! is this your first time here?” and based on what they say (yes/no) you have a response where you guide them into sharing a new product you have. “ah well we just created this new program for people who:

a. are new to this store.

b. have been our loyal customers and have been here before.

Something as simple as changing the opening greetings have increased sales by 10%-16%.

There has also been scientific research on the fact that colours and the clothing choice people where that actually do affect the chances of a customer buying from you. A Navy Blue Suit outperforms a tan/brown suit every time.

So, there are a few practical tips. In the first stage of improving your business (not necessarily in the order stated above) It’s all about relationships. and it starts from the beginning. to build a relationship you just need to increase these three factors:

  1. know
  2. like
  3. trust

So here’s some brainstorming on how to increase these factors. #1 is awareness… If they don’t even know you exist they can’t begin to like you.

So how do you gain more awareness? How do you get more attention? (in internet marketing SEO is one way)  Well I guess that’s all part of marketing. It’s all part of standing apart from the crowd. It’s not necessarily something that’s unique but it certainly has to be packaged that way.

It’s no doubt that this is vastly important to any business and sooner or later it will be the bottle neck that holds the business back.

Apple had a really good product when they first began but were constantly out performed and outsold by Microsoft.

It wasn’t until Steve Jobs mastered the art of storytelling (which is one of the essence of marketing) That Apple started to skyrocket.

The liking factor is probably the factor you have least control of… But it is being as authentic as possible and realizing that no one (not even a deity) is universally loved. Imperfection can, in fact, increase your loyal following (but no need to be imperfect on purpose… You have more than enough flaws that will naturally pop up to worry about it)

Lastly it’s the trust factor… Well it comes last because “people don’t care about what you can do for them until they know you care about them” (not to jump back to know and like but increasing any one of these factors helps increase the other factors… they kind of overlap) You increase your trust factor by increasing your knowledge of a topic. The increase in knowledge will naturally increase your confidence so there’s no need to “fake it until you make it”. There are ways of authentically increasing the perception people have of you as an expert though. But that comes after already being an expert… maybe you can think about people’s perception of you the same as marketing a product… You need to have an excellent product or a product that’s at least above a certain threshold to begin marketing it. you can’t polish a turd. same as appearing as an expert, the trick is to define the threshold of when someone becomes an expert.

I think it’s as simple as just knowing more than the person you’re helping.



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