Small businesses usually start from a personal dream combined with a great idea. That's great, but the reality is the stakes are very high — the success of a startup actually depends on its clients. They are the ones bringing in the money and paying the monthly costs and taxes.
So first of all, we must define the ideal customers and therefore, set the bars for the target audience. Let's keep it simple in here — ideal clients must:
- Make a statement for your business with their brand names
- Be willing to collaborate with you for a long period of time
- Understand the value of your services and be ready to pay high prices
Now, let's move on to the main subject and see how to attract these impressive customers.
1. Offer High Standard Services
Mediocrity is not the solution for success. You must be ready to work even harder than you did before and commit time and energy in one single direction — improving the services offered. Check out the competition and see what it is that you can do better.
Let's take airlines, for example. They all do the same thing: They get you from one place to another. Now the question is, in what conditions? People are willing to pay extra for aspects like plane's design, seats' size, type of food and drinks served, attendant's attitude, and so on. Be an A class airline!
2. Employ Non-Aggressive Marketing Strategies
Don't beg for clients to buy your services! Big companies won't ever collaborate with entrepreneurs who don't have self respect and a fair dose of vanity. Instead, make them find you everywhere they go and make them believe they really need your expertise.
Write down a presentation letter using physiological tricks: create a need, present the change you would bring, showcase benefits and advantages and end with a call to action.
Then, increase exposure by posting guest articles on related websites, for free. Hosts will be thrilled to go online with great content without having to invest anything.
Of course, use social media on daily basis to keep customers engaged.
3. Create the Best Possible Image for Your Business
A good first impression does it all. Build a neat, elegant and professional image by paying attention to details like:
- Website design – make it modern and breathtaking
- Content quality – no plagiarism, no grammar or spelling mistakes
- Language – find the balance between formal and informal
- Self-image on social media – you're no longer a simple individual, your personal image affects your business
4. Take Responsibility for the Client's Needs
Don't get drowned in your own needs, they don't matter when chasing the ideal customers. In order to be successful, understand the client's needs. There is no such thing as a standard recipe for success, so you need to customize your services for each company served.
Then, have no excuses for failing! The client's failure is your failure. Understand this responsibility and work WITH the customers, not only FOR the customers. Be a team all the way and help each other achieve the set goals.
5. Give More and Earn More
What can be more precious than time? Show your customers that you are interested in their success and not only in their money. Do this by offering your time! Stay in meetings as long as necessary, just till the client is sure you understood his needs and he is sure you are the right solution.
Don't rely on managers' reports only, but stay in and observe the company's daily activity. An uninvolved person will always see things differently.
In the end, don't refrain from asking for higher rates for the services offered. Actually, it is proved that people believe expensive things are better than cheap ones.
6. Offer Ongoing Support
Change is difficult for everybody. So make sure you are there 24/7 in order to ease the transition. Offer 24-hour email support, additional phone assistance, regular feedback on implementation, training sessions and regularly progress evaluation.
7. Try to Educate, Not Sell
Big customers want to believe they have it all and they don't need to buy anything else. So selling your services to them won't work. However, everyone is vulnerable to new ideas. Show rich people a new thing and they would want to have it immediately! Following this theory, educate the target audience in the right direction by attending to presentations, conferences and webinars.
Best way to sell something – don't sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) February 4, 2015
8. Put Together a Competent Team
Think outside the box: Be able to see your vision and to believe in it; capable of moving mountains just to fulfill an idea; willing to go the extra mile for succeeding. These employees have a fair dose of the right kind of craziness and they will do so much more for you than the ones possessing only the academic skills.