How about a cup of coffee?
I have to admit it.
Even if it takes a lot of time, effort and money.
What works for me.
What really generates business for me.
What brings me clients.
And, at the end of the day, the money that allows me to maintain this.
It’s not having a website, however pretty or clear it may be.
Although that too.
It’s not having a well-designed LinkedIn profile.
Although that too.
It’s not having channels on facebook, twitter, instagram, tiktok and the 219 new social networks that are created every week.
Although that too… sometimes.
But none of those “things” is what brings me clients.
Clients come to me through my existing contacts.
The people who already know me.
Those I’ve already worked with.
(And I gather that if they recommend me, it’s because they’re happy with the result. Or at least that’s what I like to believe).
The people I’ve helped, often selflessly.
Even if it’s just having a coffee and talking about our projects.
And the one that brings me is being active in certain groups.
No. Not facebook groups.
Groups like Global Business Owners.
Groups like Mallorca Wordsmiths of Toastmasters International.
Groups like the Cercle d’Economia de Mallorca.
Groups, usually physical (apart from this last year), where you meet with the excuse of a conference or a session and then you can talk, meet people, chat, have a beer or a coffee or a dinner.
I know I seem to be throwing stones on my own roof.
“But Joan, how can you say that we have to leave aside websites and social networks?
If that’s what sells nowadays.
And, above all, because that’s what you sell”.
And it’s true. Many times people come to me because they plan to digitise something existing or create something digital. It could be a website, an app or a new internal system to automate their processes.
And because they need a technologist then they look for someone like me.
But no. I’m not saying that creating these things isn’t the right thing to do.
I’m saying that what works for me are contacts and referrals from people who already know me.
That’s what brings me potential new clients.
I know that the vast majority of those new contacts, before we even speak for the first time, will look me up on social networks, they will search for my website and find out about me.
At least that’s what I do with new contacts.
And it is likely that, when we talk, they will comment directly:
“I’ve seen that you’ve worked at …”
“Have you really worked with …?”
“I find what you publish very interesting.”
“I’ve subscribed to your newsletter”.
And that way, through a newsletter, I’ll be able to keep in touch with them even if we don’t speak in person for months.
And sometimes they comment on a publication. Or they reply to an email. And they let me know that they are still there.
And because they remember me, it’s possible that when, perhaps years after we’ve met, they need something related to my work.
Or one of my newsletters will spark an idea that they have not been able to pay enough attention to. But at that moment it seems relevant to them.
And that’s when a call, email or whatsapp comes in.
“Hey Joan, do you have time for a coffee?”
This is my sales funnel. My “funnel” as marketers say.
Is that valid for everyone?
Well, obviously not.
If I were selling standard products or services, then I could/should listen to all those people who offer master formulas. Techniques for positioning my product. Systems for publishing advertisements. Wonderful tricks to create sales pages that attract my ideal client.
But I sell my knowledge, my experience and my contacts (in the good sense of the word) applied to the concrete need of my client.
My solution, without listening to the customer, is worthless. It is incomplete.
So my mission is to be there. That they see me, that they know me, that they trust me, that they know about real cases in which I have helped others.
And maybe, one day, when the need arises, I hope they will remember me and say “Hey Joan, do you have time for a coffee?”
Are you clear about what you sell?
Are you clear about where you need to be to be found when they need you?
Or do you try to copy other people’s canned solutions?
My solution doesn’t necessarily have to be yours either.
If you want me to help you think through your strategy, whether you’re looking for a “Buy now” or a “Let’s have a coffee” then I’m here for you.
PD: If we can meet physically you are invited.