Adding value for leads and clients
You know you need to provide value to the client, but how exactly do you do that? The tips below will prompt you to think of ways you can add value outside of the tangible product or service your client (or potential client!) is paying for.
Figure out exactly what the client wants
If you know exactly what problem your client is trying to solve, you can come up with an appropriate solution. A client may say, "I need help with marketing!" but unless you're a mind reader, that request isn't specific enough. What is the client's end goal and what service(s) will achieve that?
Know what you do best
It’s impossible to be the best at everything, so it’s important to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. If a lead comes to you and requires A, B, and C and you can only provide X, Y, Z, be honest and tell the lead you're not a good fit. Despite this situation seeming counterintuitive (turning away a client!), it will benefit you in two ways: create trust between you and the lead, because it's clear you don't misrepresent yourself and take advantage of naivety for a quick dollar, and allow you to clarify and solidify your standing in being the best at whatever you can provide. You may not be the right match for the lead, but your honesty and expertise will place you in a great position to receive referrals.
Help first, ask later
The golden rule of asking for referrals is 3:1. This means that you should offer to help someone three times before you ask for something in return. Send an interesting article, make an introduction to a valuable or like minded contact in your network, or simply check in to see if you can help in any way. This will build trust, which is crucial for increasing your business.
It's no surprise that consistency pays off. Be fair and live up to your word. Honesty and fairness are worth more than any paid advertising. Have character – that’s what counts.
Everyone wants to feel special, especially people paying you money! Take some time to learn about your client's interests and hobbies. If your client is unreachable or doesn’t seem interested in small talk, ask an assistant or coworker. Ask a questions such as, "I was thinking of sending Mr. Bell a small set of chocolates as a thank you. Do you think he would like that?" You can save this information for future use on the contact's profile using either a Note or custom field ("Hobbies and interests," for example). Custom fields are searchable. Notes are not.
What makes you special? Why is it that someone should choose you over the next person? If you don’t have an answer to this, find one. It could be you offer a complimentary consultation or continue the relationship past the official period of service so that you can continue to check in and make sure everything's still on track. Maybe you have a particular expertise in a niche category. There are many ways to differentiate yourself, so find yours!