My clients and many of my readers are small and home-based business owners, and one of the biggest struggles they face is getting new customers.
Getting new customers is costly and requires a repeated effort. Once you have a customer it is easier to retain them as long as they are receiving value and benefit from their relationship with you.
I recall a woman I dealt with years ago while I was serving as an executive member for our police association.
The legal name of the association was changing and we needed new letterhead, business cards, etc.
I knew this woman was trained as a graphic artist and was starting her own business.
Always wanting to support new entrepreneurs, I asked her if she would be interested in preparing several samples of draft letterhead and business cards for our review.
She was excited about the opportunity and informed me she didn't have any set prices, but would create some designs and provide a proposal if we decided to accept her work.
She provided three samples to choose from. The designs she created could be used interchangeably on the letterhead, envelopes and business cards.
Her work was good. Our Executive Team reviewed the samples and selected a favorite.
I contacted the woman several days later and informed her we liked her designs and were interested in purchasing one. I then asked her to submit a written proposal for our consideration.
When I received her faxed quotation I almost fell off my chair. She wanted $750! She provided a breakdown indicating $200/hour for three hours work, and $150 for the design.
When I presented the quotation at the next executive meeting, the team members' jaws dropped and the graphic artist's proposal was unanimously denied.
What was her fatal mistake?
She was building a new business and although she may have had exceptional skills and the potential to become a high earning graphic artist, she didn't understand marketing strategies.
She didn't understand the concept that acquiring the client is crucially important and that once you have a relationship established, it is easier to sell to them again in the future.
It is important to recognize the lifetime value of a client or customer instead of focusing only on a one-shot, money-making deal.
If this woman had provided an irresistible offer, she might have established a relationship with us and could have created the opportunity to sell again and again as we required brochures, posters, etc. for ongoing events.
In the end, she invested three hours work and walked away with no client and no money.
What is the lesson here?
You have a huge responsibility to do whatever it takes to make it easy and irresistible for a potential client to enter into a relationship with you.
You don't want to make it difficult or impossible.
Everything you do to secure a client should revolve around making is easier and more appealing to do business with you.
You want to make it easy for a prospect to say yes to enter into a relationship with you because once you have established that relationship, you may keep that client for many years during which you may benefit from referrals, ongoing purchases and higher level purchases.
Think about what you're doing now to attract new clients and what can you do differently to create an irresistible offer for them - something they just can't say no to.
This week, try something new. When you communicate with your next prospect, make an irresistible offer and see what happens.
Laurie Hayes, a Life Strategy/Small Business Coach, works with small and home-based business owners who are overwhelmed by wearing too many hats. To subscribe to her free newsletter visit http://www.wheretheheartis-lifecoaching.com