Get The Picture — Get More Clients


Article by Frank TraditiHave you developed a profile for who your best clients may be in the business-to-business marketplace? Do you know what kind of organizations need your service the most? Or what their biggest challenges are? Does your marketing strategy address these important factors? What could you do to make this picture clearer?

Collecting detailed information about your clients and prospects is key to making wise decisions about your products, services, and marketing strategies. Gathering reliable data on your prospects enhances your ability to market and sell. Without it, it’s extremely difficult to know just what your clients want and how they might use your services.

To help with developing an informed marketing strategy, the first step is to “take a picture” of your current client base or prospect list. Through a series of questions and some analysis, you can develop a detailed profile for each prospective client.

Let’s examine four different areas:
1. General Information
2. Business Profile
3. Their Business Environment
4. Opportunities

General Information

Gather basic information about your clients and prospects, such as the business they are in and the names and job titles of important contacts. It’s important to know who all the key players are, for example, the four people you need to know in every organization, as described in my article Selling to the Fab Four. It’s imperative to identify the right people so you can plan out your sales and marketing strategies.

Business Profile

Some key questions to give you insight into your clients’ businesses:

  • What is the number of employees, locations, and annual sales?
  • What are their product lines?
  • Who are their customers? What and how do customers buy from them?
  • What are their mission, vision, and values?
  • What are their main goals and objectives?
  • Describe their corporate or organizational culture.
  • Who are their competitors?

Their Business Environment

Some meatier questions to help you think about what services you can provide, and how you can become a more strategic partner:

  • What are the current challenges in their industry?
  • What are their current internal business issues?
  • What is their experience with your competitors?
  • How is the current economic situation impacting them?
  • Is their business shrinking, growing, or stable?
  • What organizational challenges will impact your business with this client?
  • How do they value vendors, consultants, and other service providers?
  • How far away are they from “exploding” or “imploding”?
  • Name their three biggest problems and what they are doing to fix them.

Opportunities

What possibilities are already on the table and what new business can you pursue:

  • What issues, areas, or departments of the company do you plan to target during the next 30-60 days?
  • Which of your services are the best match for existing opportunities?
  • Who in the company are you already positioned well with? Can that person say yes?
  • What are the top three priorities for the person you are targeting?
  • What other departments, areas, or issues haven’t you addressed? How do these other areas connect with the person you have been working with?
  • What changes are occurring (e.g., management turnover, relocation, new offices, or new products) that could lead to more business?
  • How creative can you be about how you can help this company out?

And one final big question:

What can you do for this client that is different from what everyone else does?

Start with just one client or prospect and create a profile like this. When you see how much more powerful this information will make your sales and marketing, you’ll be ready to profile all your clients and prospects.

Get the picture –- it will be worth far more than a thousand words.

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