If you want to pursue your dream clients across time and space, you are going to need a professional pursuit plan that allows you to persist as a value creator and not a nuisance. Stringing together the 14 tools you need to nurture your dream clients will allow you to become known as someone worth a meeting.
- The Phone: You may not have expected this tool to be first on the list, but it belongs here. If you want to be known, then don’t wait for your dream client to bump into you on a social channel. Instead, make yourself known. Even if you don’t reach a contact, leaving a voicemail announces your arrival. You want to be known, and you want to be known as a value creator.
- Voice Mail: Salespeople can be a superstitious lot. Some avoid voice mail, believing that it hurts them to put their prospective clients on notice that they are calling. There is no reason not to have your voice heard, especially if you have a message that shows your conviction in your ability to provide them real value in exchange for their time.
- Email: Email should not be your first choice, but it fits well here in third place. Email allows you to follow up on your phone call and voice mail. You can describe the value you are trading for your dream client’s time, and you can provide your phone number. You can also let them know that you will be trying them very soon. Don’t ask them to call you back. You call them.
- An Idea or Theory: If you want to gain meetings faster, sharing an idea that is valuable to your dream client—even if they don’t do business with you— it provides your contacts with evidence that you have done your homework and that you might be able to help them with their problems, challenges, or opportunities. Because there is no ask, you are making a deposit in the relationship, something that will pay dividends later.
- What You Have Learned: If you have learned something from serving other clients, such as how to produce a result in a new way, or a strategy that saves time and money, sharing that is the kind of thing that proves you are helping other companies with their problems. It also shows that you are focused on improving the results you help your clients produce.
- Your Views: If you have the business acumen, and if you have the situational knowledge, sharing your view on what you believe is right now and what follows makes for an excellent nurture tool. It may be the context behind the “advice” that is necessary to be a trusted advisor. Or it might be the advice itself. In either case, you are providing value without claiming any, and in doing so, nurturing the relationships you need.
- Your Company’s Blog Posts: Most of the people you want to schedule a meeting with are not reading your company’s blog. But if your company creates relevant, compelling content, you have an excellent tool for nurturing relationships. But you can’t simply send a link. Instead, you have to explain why it’s important and why your dream client will benefit from reading it. The pro tip here is to paste the money line into the email when you send it, preventing them from having to find it. The super pro tip is to print it, highlight it, write a personal note, and mail it.
- Hand-Written Card: A handwritten card is personal. When you enclose your business card and offer to be of service should your dream client need anything, your card will likely be the only one your contacts ever receive. While your peers bang away on email, you, a real human, sent them a tangible note. You are now differentiated in a way that indicates you are thoughtful.
- Other Company’s Blog Posts: When you say something is true, it may be true. When an impartial third party says something is true, your dream client believes it. Not only can you share insights from others as a way to nurture your dream clients, but you can also demonstrate that you are someone who is on top of their industry, their client’s industry, and paying attention to what’s important.
- Diagnostic Tools: You may or may not have something that fits this description, but if you do, you have an excellent nurture tool. If you can allow your clients to analyze their situation and see how they might produce a better result, the fact that they can discover something for themselves can help them decide to meet with you to explore change.
- Trade Journals: The industry rags always have relevant content, even if not everything is appropriate for the case you are trying to make about why your dream client should change and what they should do. It’s more proof that you aren’t the average salesperson who believes their company and their product is what should be most relevant to their dream client. Because you are focused on business outcomes, you demonstrate what you think is essential.
- News Articles: If you want people to believe that you might be capable of being their trusted advisor, start by doing some of their thinking for them. Think of yourself as their second brain, working to cover some of the areas of their business they need to monitor for them. The work you do here is the same work you will do for them when they eventually sign your contract and begin working with you. There is no reason to wait to get started.
- Case Studies: Case studies are not always the best and most relevant content for nurturing. If you are going to use them, you are going to have to provide them a fitting theory and explain why you think it’s worth your prospective client’s time. Most case studies try to share the reason a client changed and their new results after buying, but they seem to try too hard. If you can, highlight what’s relevant and add a note, expecting your contacts aren’t going to read it.
- White Papers: Also not something that is likely to be read and studied. But when they are graphics-heavy and look like magazines, they can compel people to give them a longer look. The more you can personalize it and tie to something you know about your prospective client, the more work it can do as a nurturing tool.
These tools are how you stay alive in your dream client’s mind. It’s also how you create value without claiming any. Using the tools in a thoughtful and well-designed process helps you be known as someone with the ideas and capacity to make a difference.