Today is the day you’ve eagerly awaited—it’s time to take that leap of faith and create your own business! You’ve done your research, and crafted your strategy, but there’s one crucial aspect you’re unsure about—how to attract clients. Well, you’re in luck because this article will guide you through the process of finding and engaging clients, drawing them out from their hideaways. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
First, let’s start with the basics. You’ve already gathered information about starting a business, as that’s precisely what you intend to do. However, once your business is up and running, the key to success lies in effective sales and, consequently, acquiring customers. So, let’s proceed step by step. Our first focus will be on understanding the concept of “prospecting”.
Definition of canvassing
First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that canvassing is a fundamental sales technique used to acquire customers. When you engage in this practice, you initiate a targeted marketing process to identify potential clients.
These clients align with your predetermined target audience, and your objective is to establish contact with them to expand your customer base and boost sales. Canvassing is a form of direct sales employed in marketing strategies.
But what does this entail? Essentially, you’ll be reaching out to customers who are unfamiliar with your brand. Your aim is to present them with an offer and generate interest or a need for your product or service. This approach differs from the inbound marketing methodology, which we will explore in a separate article. Canvassing can be classified into two types:
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
- Business-to-Business (B2B)
By understanding the concept of canvassing and its two primary categories, you are equipped with the foundational knowledge needed to navigate the world of customer acquisition.
The different types of canvassing
In the realm of customer acquisition, various sales methods exist, and similarly, there are multiple types of canvassing. Specifically, when targeting cold prospects, three common forms of canvassing come into play:
- Telephone canvassing 📱
- Email canvassing
- Door-to-door canvassing
In subsequent sections, we will delve into each of these canvassing methods individually, exploring their strategies, benefits, and considerations.
The telephone canvassing
We are all familiar with this method, and it’s one that often garners the least enthusiasm. It’s none other than cold calling. We’ve all experienced those phone calls from companies trying to sell us a subscription or persuade us to use a particular service. Cold calling entails reaching out to potential customers via phone, but it’s important to note that this approach may not yield the best results, as these calls are unsolicited and unexpected by the prospects.
The email canvassing
The prospecting email, also known as the initial email, is the first email that you send to one or more potential customers. Unlike cold calling, it is a less intrusive approach, and we highly recommend utilizing this method to your advantage. When it comes to customer acquisition, email is an excellent tool that can help you achieve your goals. In fact, when combined with other platforms, it becomes even more powerful (we’ll delve into that later).
Marketing emails are far from being obsolete, and we encourage you to continue using them as they significantly enhance your prospecting efforts. In fact, we suggest sending an email before reaching out to someone on LinkedIn, as it increases the likelihood of them recognizing you and engaging with your message.
This method of prospecting is somewhat outdated, and it has become increasingly rare to have someone show up at your doorstep attempting to sell you a product or service. This type of canvassing involves a salesperson visiting your home without prior appointment.
During this type of canvassing, the salesperson engages directly with potential customers. Now that we’ve covered a few types of canvassing, let’s explore how to effectively canvass customers. Are you looking to find the right prospects? Well, let’s start with the persona. I know we’ve mentioned it before, but it’s something you’ll have to get accustomed to. 😁
How to Get Clients: Create a Persona
We mention it repeatedly in our articles, but with good reason. Without knowing who is likely to buy from you, you won’t be able to find new customers. Creating a persona is a crucial element of any effective marketing strategy. To understand your ideal customer, you need to create a detailed profile. Consider including:
- A fictitious first and last name, which helps you relate to your target audience.
- An accompanying fictitious photo, easily sourced from image banks, to further humanize your persona.
- Age, gender, and location.
- Marital status 💍.
- Occupation and educational background.
- Field of study.
- Financial situation.
- And more…
These are just a few examples, and you can include additional details as necessary. For instance, if owning pets 🐈⬛ is relevant to selling your products or services, include that information. The persona we just created represents a B2C scenario, but let’s now explore creating a B2B persona.
The B2B persona
When it comes to targeting B2B prospects, there are several important factors to consider:
- The company’s objectives and goals.
- The company’s annual turnover.
- The industry or sector in which the company operates.
- The size of the company, including the number of employees.
- The specific needs and requirements of the company.
- Any constraints or limitations that the company may have.
However, it’s crucial to remember that even when dealing with businesses, ultimately you’ll need to engage with the decision-makers, who are individuals 👨🦰. Therefore, it’s important not to neglect building relationships with them. Understanding their roles and preferences can significantly impact your approach to B2B prospecting and lead generation.
How to canvass customers: Use social media
After creating your persona, it’s time to determine the platforms where you’ll engage with your leads. It’s no secret that the digital era has greatly expanded our presence on social networks 🤳. Embracing this trend can benefit your customer acquisition strategy. While Facebook, once dominant, is now less utilized, Instagram has gained popularity as a platform for showcasing photos. It presents a great opportunity to promote your products as well.
Let’s not just focus on Instagram; instead, we’ll delve into another social network: LinkedIn. Specifically, we want to highlight the potential of this professional networking platform. As you may be aware, LinkedIn boasts millions of users who initially joined to connect with colleagues and explore job opportunities. However, LinkedIn offers more than just professional connections; it provides an avenue for finding prospects and effectively selling your products or services. Allow us to walk you through how it works.
Finding customers on LinkedIn
If you’ve ever stepped into the world of LinkedIn, you’re familiar with how this social network operates. With your target audience and your product/service in mind, it’s time to leverage the resources provided by LinkedIn. First and foremost, let’s talk about the search bar. This powerful tool allows you to enter relevant keywords, such as:
- Job titles or positions within a company.
- Specific names of individuals you want to target.
- Company names, either singular or multiple.
You can also join relevant groups to engage in discussions about your service or product, gathering insights from your target audience. Simply gather the responses and proceed accordingly. Once you’ve identified potential connections, send them invitations to join your network and initiate a conversation.
We recommend sending invitation requests without a note, as it tends to yield higher acceptance rates. However, if your copywriting skills are exceptional, you can confidently include a personalized note. One crucial aspect not to overlook on LinkedIn is visibility. By regularly posting on this platform, you enhance your visibility and establish your expertise, both of which are vital for attracting clients.
To assist you in finding clients on LinkedIn, we have an additional solution for you: Leadsourcing.
What is a good way to approach a company?
We’ve covered the primary methods of approaching customers, primarily at the B2C level. Now, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of approaching a company.
1️⃣ Gather information
Just like creating a persona, you need to familiarize yourself with the type of business that will approach you to purchase your services. It is crucial to gather the following information:
- Identify the decision makers within the company.
- Establish the appropriate means of contacting them.
- Understand their specific needs.
- Identify their pain points.
This step is vital and should not be overlooked as it enables you to gather valuable data and effectively address any inquiries or concerns from the company.
2️⃣ Make contact with your prospects.
During the prospecting phase, it’s essential to establish contact with the company, specifically targeting the decision-makers. To achieve this, you must identify who holds decision-making authority within the organization and determine their preferred communication method. You have several options to approach them:
- Mailing: Send a well-crafted message via mail, ensuring it captures their attention and interest.
- LinkedIn: Utilize LinkedIn to connect with decision-makers, leveraging the platform’s professional networking capabilities.
- Phone: Initiate contact through a phone call, following a strategic approach tailored to engage decision-makers effectively.
Prior research is crucial to understand their preferences and engage them in the most appropriate manner. Successfully establishing contact is a decisive step as it lays the foundation for introducing your product or service. Don’t hesitate to ask relevant questions to identify their pain points and motivations, enabling you to tailor your pitch accordingly.
3️⃣ Make a sales proposal
After establishing the initial contact and presenting your product or service, the next step is to create a sales proposal. In case you’re unfamiliar with what a sales proposal entails, let’s provide a brief explanation. Essentially, a sales proposal is a document that outlines and summarizes your offer, which you will present to a decision-maker or customer.
When crafting your sales proposal, it’s crucial to provide a detailed and persuasive account. To make the proposal appealing to the prospect, it should primarily focus on their specific needs. Clearly demonstrate why your solution is the right fit for them. The document should be easily understandable, with concise and compelling language that allows your lead to grasp the significance of the proposal and how your solution addresses their problem.
4️⃣ Follow up with your prospect
After presenting your sales proposal, it’s common for prospects not to provide an immediate response. In fact, it’s often advisable to give them the necessary time to consider the proposal you’ve submitted. However, this doesn’t mean that you should forget about it entirely.
Once you have established a timeframe for your prospect to review the proposal, it’s essential to follow up with them. During this follow-up, reiterate the key points covered in the sales proposal and offer assistance with any areas that may not be clear to them. Let them know that you are available to address any questions or concerns they may have. This demonstrates your genuine interest in their needs and shows that you are accessible, which can be highly advantageous when dealing with a company.
Throughout this article, we have covered various aspects of customer canvassing. Here’s a summary of what we’ve discussed:
- Definition of canvassing: We explored the concept of canvassing as a commercial technique used to find customers and expand your customer base.
- Types of canvassing: We examined different methods of canvassing, including telephone canvassing, email canvassing, and door-to-door canvassing.
- Canvassing with social networks: We focused on leveraging social networks like Instagram and LinkedIn for customer acquisition, highlighting the importance of utilizing search features, engaging with relevant groups, and enhancing visibility through posting.
- Canvassing businesses: We delved into the process of approaching businesses, emphasizing the need to understand decision-makers, their preferred means of communication, and their specific needs and pain points.
By incorporating the insights and tips provided in this article, you should now be well-equipped to embark on your customer canvassing journey.