It’s a gray and rainy day here in New York City, and now that summer vacation is over, I guess it’s really time to get back to work. This fall I have a few exciting projects I’m really looking forward to, but I’m also regrouping and actively thinking about how to bring in new clients. After all, it’s like I always say, “If you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business.”
Today let’s remind ourselves of some strategies to get clients. Here are my top five suggestions:
1. Be very clear about what you’re selling. Make sure potential clients know about your services and what you charge. Clarity is your number one sales tool.
2. Reach out to all of the happy clients you’ve worked with in the last two years. Send them a friendly hello. You do keep a list of your old clients, right? It’s a good idea to keep track of their birthdays, too. Sending former clients birthday and holiday cards is a great way to leave a lasting and positive impression.
3. It’s also a good idea to call the hotels and other venues you’ve worked with in the last two years. You should keep in touch with banquet managers, too. Romance them even… take them out for dinner.
4. Call wedding planners in your area as well. Yes, folks, wedding planners are an incredible source of referrals. But it’s a two-way street; if a client comes to you first, recommend your favorite wedding planners.
5. And finally, call other vendors. It’s important to form strong alliances with talented and reliable vendors. Establish a handshake agreement; promise to recommend each other to clients.
Truthfully, the first item on this list is still a struggle for me. I also find reaching out challenging; it’s a lot of work! However, like prayer, pursuing new clients should be a daily practice.
Dear Readers, what kind of response do you get when you call former clients, banquet managers, planners and other vendors? What’s your best source of new work? Referrals? Please share your strategy. Let’s help each other!