5 ways to find clients as a B2B business
Finding new clients can be a challenge for B2B firms, as you have to target the right people in the right places and find rapport and understanding. Here are some things you can do to turn the heads of business owners who could become clients.
By James Nicholson, Find Marketing Executive
1. work smart on your LinkedIn network
There are 55 million companies on LinkedIn and in 2020, LinkedIn saw a 55% increase in private message conversations. Research the companies and people who can potentially buy from you, send link requests and grow a strong personal network. The bigger your own LinkedIn network the bigger the chance of getting business through it, it’s that simple.
Personal profiles have more reach than company pages, that’s the algorithm, so you might be tempted to just use your personal profile for reaching out. However, your company pages are the connection to your business services. Why not post on the company page first, then link to it on a post on your personal profile to boost reach and pull people back to your company page? Also, ask people in your business to share your posts! Set a time each week, if not each day, to do an action on LinkedIn.
Without spending a lot on paid advertising you can make strong personal connections by talking openly to people in your network about who you are and what you do and also commenting on their threads, it will show you are there and have a view. Don’t hide under a bush with your successes but also think about what a client would most like to know or hear from you.
It’s often the case that connections you have will reach out to their own network and ask for help with the business, with a scramble ensuing where everyone who can help responds all at once, to be first in line. It’s usually the case that a typical response to a request for help is a ‘give me call’ message, putting the emphasis on the potential client to do more leg-work. Why not DM or contact them personally instead or say you’ll call them at their convenience? Make it easier for them, not yourself.
2. pick the right networking
Networking in the guise of business breakfasts has always been seen as a necessary task although such circles have varying degrees of business actually being conducted at them. You need to find the right networking clubs that suit you and have genuine value in some way. Small ones and free ones have freelancers’ prolifically, like graphic designers and one-man-band type services, whilst larger ones with paid entry or membership attract larger SMEs and can involve turn-taking pitches to the group.
You can get good advice, make relationships and know who is who at these gigs which is a value in itself. Think about networking as another channel (like the most appropriate social media) so don’t waste time if it’s not right, target the most fruitful ones that have some return, if not in revenue, in relationships. Besides, being a face in the right kind of crowd means you may get an indirect referral. Since the pandemic a lot of networking is online, so you don’t need to even leave your office chair.
3. know your client community
Remember that you are not trying to appeal to everyone. A common pitfall of marketing, for instance, is creating content that is too generic. You need to implicitly ‘get’ a specific subset of individuals whose interest would be mutually beneficial. There will be expectations of behaviour, branding and service in your sector and you’ll see the most successful businesses in your sector have a certain style that reflects well with the customer base. Therefore, your online and print content should be focused on who it is you want to connect with the most. There are tried and tested processes to understand your customers, who they are, what they want, why they buy. Segmentation in marketing is also a benefit when reaching out, dividing up the messages to be most effective toward each of the ‘tribes’ that buy from you.
4. show your knowledge and level of service
We believe in ‘show’ not ‘tell’ as a good strategy. Explaining what you can do is one thing, showing what you have done is another. Always have case studies ready, know how to demonstrate your successes so people see you are genuine and have a legacy of results that will bolster confidence and lead to a sale.
5. ask for a referral
Lastly, If you do a really good job for someone, ask them if they can refer you in the future if the opportunity arises. A referral is worth so much because it’s a client-to-client trust or word of mouth. You can create a survey form for feedback with specific questions on it that you can, with permission, use for marketing or share with potential new clients. When an existing or past client recommends you and explains why, that is the most powerful message you can share to generate new business.
Key to finding all new business, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You might be one click or step away from your new client!
For more information on marketing strategy for B2B business, why not have a chat with Find Director, Helen Forsyth? For a FREE 30 minute call with no commitments necessary or strings attached, book your slot directly here in Helen’s calendar.
Some references: Forbes, Hootsuite blog and Statista.