It’s important to find more clients. The never-ending struggle for survival is common to all businesses that sell one-time products or services. That struggle is no less real for those businesses that sell subscriptions, or recurring purchases (such as SaaS platforms).
Whether you call them customers or clients, they are the people who pay you money to do what you do. So it is important to properly define who your ideal customer is, and work hard at finding more of them.
But have you ever thought of turning the tables? Have you ever paid your clients money, and had them give you something unique and precious in return?
I’m talking about Hiring Your Next Client. Take your ideal customer or client description, and turn it into a job description. (Naturally you’ll need an ideal client description to begin with, so create one of those if you haven’t already.) You’ll be hiring them as a short term consultant. The engagement could last hours or days, depending on how deep you want to go to gather insights. The objective is to uncover all the different things that your ideal customers must go through when making decisions that affect their business. These details are absolutely critical to subtly matching your marketing and sales materials to their needs and ensuring your business processes and employee training is empathetically in tune with your customers.
Hiring your next client is an approach that is hyper-focused on your client’s own journey. You can gather inside data straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak that can be used in customer experience journey mapping, customer experience design, product development, sales, marketing, and so much more. It's a good idea to prepare in advance by reading up on marketing in general to get the most out of this process.
Since you are being completely upfront about the nature of the engagement, expectations are properly set and the consultants/clients you hire should leave with a positive impression of your company. One that is intensely focused on meeting their specific needs.
Take some time to put together a well thought out research program that 10, 20, or 50+ ideal customers or clients can participate in. Gather qualitative and quantitative research data.
Budget accordingly. In general, you can spend more money on each client hire the more each individual client or sale is worth. If your company is selling low ticket services or items to consumers, you’ll want to spend as little as possible per hire, and get a larger number of research participants. Don’t be afraid to hire remotely when looking for consulting clients or customers. Upwork is one fantastic platform for hiring consultants, but so is Guru, Top Tal, and many others.
If you execute properly on this research concept, the client you hire just might end up hiring you.