How do I Find New Clients: An Easy Question with Many Answers

How do I find new clients?

This is something I am asked almost every day, a very easy question with a variety of correct answers.

Traditionally, the best way to find new clients was to go out and knock on doors until you found a new client, then another and another. Back when I started in sales, selling business forms for Wallace, my job was to get out into my territory, find an industrial park and start walking in one office after the next trying to find the guy who purchased invoices, mailers, labels, and anything else that we could put ink onto. Once I got his name, I would try to either see him then or schedule some time to come back to tell him how our ink on paper was so much better than everyone else’s. How was I judged that first year? If I regularly came back to the office at the end of the day with a handful of business cards and a story or two about a receptionist, it was pretty much assumed that I was doing my job and doing it correctly.

But then times started to change. At my next sales job, selling IT technical support services, we were told to make 100 cold calls a day to ask people if they needed our assistance or to schedule a meeting to get to know them and the systems they ran so when it was time for them to use us, we were ready. Then came email. Now we could reach out to several people at one time to tell them how great we were and why they would want to work with us. Now it is “social media” blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and how many other places where we can let the world see why they would want to put their hard earned money in our pocket so that we can help them solve a particular problem or need.

Are any of these particularly good ways to find a client? Are any of these particularly bad? In my opinion, they can all be both. In today’s age of selling, a good sales team should be doing a combination of all of these things, both attracting clients by using their website, social media, blogs, email marketing, and other tools to help your ideal customer find you; and continuing to develop strong account executives who take the time to develop relationships with their clients, understand their needs and help them to find solutions that can help them.


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