Marketing / Attracting new business

Winning new clients: How to get the gig

I recently received an email from Sylvia, a coaching client, which prompted me to write on the important topic of winning new clients.

20 March 2007 by

Sylvia in a bit of a kerfuffle. She’d heard on the grapevine that a big project was coming up with a past contact and it was work that suited her to a T. What’s more she was hungry for success. 

Sylvia hadn’t spoken to this business acquaintance for a while and was unsure what to do. Talking to Sylvia on the phone, I quickly steered the discussion away from business and instead reminisced about teenage courtship. As you do. 

I wondered what a young admirer would have done if he’d fancied Sylvia and desperately wanted to take her out. Chances are he’d have paced nervously up and down, unsure what to do. 

But what would Sylvia have wanted him to do? “I’d have wanted him to call!” she exclaimed. Well of course she would. 

It feels nice to be pursued, doesn’t it? What’s more, it really doesn’t matter what you think of the other party. Even if you are totally disinterested, does your impression of that person decline? Not at all, in fact the reverse is usually true. 

How sensible to pursue! How courageous! It’s quite possible you’ll refer to a friend or even keep your devotee in the wings for some later date. Let’s not go there. 

"How sensible to pursue! How courageous! It's quite possible you'll refer to a friend or even keep your devotee in the wings for some later date."

In business, if we see something we want, a project or challenge that we know is screaming out for our input and we have a line of communication open with a decision maker (or decision influencer), we should just get on the phone or burst into their office and say it. Straight out, say it. 

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Sylvia did. She got on the phone and said words to the effect: “I know that Project X is coming up soon and I’d like to work on it. What do I need to do to be considered?” 

Surprise, surprise, it looks like she’s getting the gig. Her contact was bowled over by her passion and energy and told her that she’d just done everything she needed to do. After all, what sort of provider do you want handling your business – someone who’s so so, or someone who’s got the hots? 

I’ll wager you’ve some experiences to share, or can think of someone to bowl over right now. Spill the beans and share your thoughts below. 

Robert Gerrish

is one of the Flying Solo crew and supports soloists as a coach and consultant. He presents at conferences and networking events and bangs on to the media or anyone who listens, about all things micro. Along with Sam Leader and Peter Crocker, he's the co-author of Flying Solo – How to go it alone in business.

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