Having plenty of clients at the moment is a great position to be in. However, you know there will come a time when you need to be attracting more new clients. It could be that your current work with clients has been completed or you feel ready to grow your business a bit bigger.
Many business owners when they're busy with existing clients forget the golden rule that you still need to be marketing consistently. Otherwise it can be too easy to find you're on a roller-coaster heading quickly into a dip without enough potential clients in the pipeline.
So, how do you go about marketing when you know you're not in a position to take on any new clients today?
!b>Controlling The Flow Of New Clients Through A Proper Marketing Plan
Often, the influx of new clients can be controlled through the specific marketing tactics employed by your business as part of your current strategy. For example, some tactics are more likely to bring clients on board quickly whereas other tactics are more for the longer-term attraction of clients.
Hence, selecting the right marketing activities will help you to regulate the influx of potential clients. How can this be done, exactly?
There are two types of marketing: push marketing and pull marketing.
Push marketing refers to promotional techniques that are somewhat aggressive. They place the product or service in front of the market to see. They drive attention towards these products and services in a way that will force the market to take notice. Push marketing demands a direct response from people in the target market. Telemarketing is an example of push marketing. Advertising in print publications and on websites are others. Direct selling methods also fall under this category.
Pull marketing, on the other hand, refers to a subtler promotional model. Instead of actively engaging the members of the target market to buy your product or service, you invite them to be aware and remember you, and to consider you at some point. Pull marketing is dedicated to the establishment of a recognizable brand that people will seek out eventually. Word of mouth is the best example of pull marketing. Branding yourself as an expert in the field and mentioning your business in the process is likewise a good illustration of this type of marketing. Developing leads through a sales funnel on your website also falls under this category.
What do these have to do with the dilemma we have discussed?
Basically . . .
If you employ push marketing, you're more likely to get inquiries and orders coming in quicker
If you employ pull marketing, expect a lower volume of inquiries and orders initially, but such influx will probably be more consistent and continue for the longer-term.
Therefore at this point in your business employing pull marketing techniques is the best choice as these generally take longer to put into practice and see results with.
Put your focus on tactics that will give you a solid foundation for when you need to ramp up your marketing. So, for example, you may choose to build or work on your website so that it has the relevant information, sales flow and content. Or perhaps building relationships with other people who in time can refer people to you. Perhaps thinking through and writing some articles that can be distributed a little later. Spend the time you have for marketing at the moment getting yourself prepared. By the time you need more clients these foundations may be starting to bring in inquiries or help you to use more aggressive tactics.
To give you a clearer picture of the time needed for certain marketing tactics and the lead time to gain clients, I suggest that you analyze your previous marketing. You need to identify specifically what worked well, what didn't work and what you can improve on. Also consider the time, money and effort required for each piece of marketing and determine your return on investment so that you can choose the most appropriate ones to use now.
Utilizing The Situation To Build Relationships
What do you need to do when a prospect shows interest but you are too busy to take them on and work with them?
Honesty is always the best policy.
And this is true even when your hands are full with current clients. You need to be honest and communicate with prospects quickly. In other words don't leave an inquiry just hanging in the air without a response from you. Ahead of time think about the best strategy for your business for handling these inquiries. It could be referring them to another business that can handle their needs immediately. In this scenario it may be that you come to an agreement with this business to both refer potential clients to each other depending how busy you both are.
Or see if the potential client is happy to be placed on your waiting list for when you are free to work with them. Assure them that this will enable you to give them your full attention when you can finally work with them. If they choose this option, keep them regularly updated of likely dates that you can start the work. A quick 5 minute phone call to them every so often, doesn't take you long and shows that they are still important to your business. Perhaps share with them some ideas of how they can prepare their business for when you're ready to work with them. There may be paperwork, figures or ideas that they can start collating now.
The Next Steps For Your Business
Although you may think you can't take on anymore clients at present, I challenge you to brainstorm some possibilities about how you could handle more business. Nowadays, there are many technologies and options available for small and medium sized businesses to help deal with a larger number of clients.
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