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Five Strategies For Midsize Service Firms To Break Through Revenue Plateaus
How Pro Service Firms Can Fix The ‘Drop Everything — Chase Money’ Problem
Prospect, Originate, Navigate: How To Fill Your Professional Service Pipeline
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Think Carefully About Your Promise
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 7
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 6
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 5
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 4
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 3
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 2
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 1
How Mid-Size Service Firms Can Acquire Great New Clients On LinkedIn
Five Ways The Consultative Sale Improves Profits
How To Win The Complex Service Sale Consistently
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
How To Break The Grip Of Rainmaker Culture
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
How To Know When Prospects Are Ready
How To Pull Prospects Into Conversations
Nurture Organic Relationships Online
How To Build Relationships With Jaded Prospects
Do Prospects Want To Buy Or Be Sold?
Close Deals Faster Using Proof Statements
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
Quick Or Deep Content: Which Is Better For Professional Service Firms?
Most Leads Are Not Ready To Engage – But They Will Be

MARKETING

How To Market Managed Services - Part 3
How To Market Managed Services - Part 2
How To Market Managed Services Today – Part 1
Why Service Firms Need A Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
Does Your Website Attract Ideal Clients?
Why Service Firms Need The Ultimate Digital Marketing Stack
The Myth Of The Time-Starved Service Buyer
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
Why You Need A Generous Brand
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
Are You Measuring Your Time Funnel?
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Five Digital Marketing KPIs
Can Service Pros Over 40 Succeed In Digital?
Do Your Users Experience Content Regret?
Content Registrations Are Not Enough
Is Your Website Open For Business
How To Build A Great Digital Marketing Plan
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
The Value Of An Idea Driven Website
A New Website Won’t Bring You New Clients
Do You “Get” Digital Marketing? – Part 2
Do You Get Digital Marketing?
Who Benefits From Your Content?
Lead Nurturing Versus Content Marketing
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Make Your Website A New Client Driver
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
How To Get The Greatest Value From Content Marketing
Why You Should Absolutely Give Away Your Best Ideas
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
How To Nurture Ideal Prospects
Quick Or Deep Content: Which Is Better For Professional Service Firms?

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HOW TO ATTRACT NEW IDEAL CLIENTS

WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU BE TAKING?

Client acquisition tends to be a top goal for nearly every professional service firm. You might be enticed to take on clients who are not a great fit. My advice? Don’t do it.

Instead, focus on those kinds of clients where you and your company can have the greatest impact. The payoff to you and your clients will be huge. Here is my advice about how to position for and attract new ideal clients.

KEY TAKE-AWAY:

 

USE YOUR IDEAL CLIENT PROFILE TO BUILD CONTENT THAT PULLS PROSPECTIVE NEW CLIENTS INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU.

Define your ideal client

What does an ideal client look like? What makes an ideal client … well ideal? There are seven major qualities that cause ideal clients to stand out.

  1. Impact. You deliver services that have a significant impact on their situation, usually their top or bottom line or both.
  2. Budget. Ideal clients can easily afford your services and usually have already reserved a line item in their annual budget for those services.
  3. Profits. You earn a substantial profit by delivering these services.
  4. Insights. You understand what your ideal client needs, often better than they do.
  5. Expertise. Your ideal clients want and need your specific capabilities and have limited options for acquiring that expertise.
  6. Culture. There is a good fit between the way you do business and the way your ideal clients prefer to be served.
  7. Chemistry. Your staff and your ideal clients’ staff work well together with few conflicts.

When you think about the clients you serve today, how do they stack up against these attributes? How could your firm benefit from serving more clients who are a great fit?

Build your ideal client profile (ICP)

Before you can position for and attract new ideal clients, build an ideal client profile or ICP. Here are steps you can take to build an ICP unique to your business.

Step 1. Pick a service that you offer and would like to sell more. This service should be one that you believe in and that you feel could have a much greater impact on clients than you’ve realized today.

Step 2. Ask yourself: Who need this service? Why do they need this service? How will it benefit them? What kind of impact will it have on their business, their life and family? Make a list of these benefits.

Step 3. Now it’s time to go deeper to build the ICP. Focus on three areas:

  • Demographic, psychographic and geographic factors.
  • Decision-makers and influencers by title and responsibility.
  • A deep-dive discussion of decision-makers’ top goals, opportunities and challenges.

The last category is what matters most and is, quite frankly, the most difficult to build. So begin by brainstorming your best guess about the top goals, opportunities and challenges of ideal clients, but be ready to change these in the next steps.

Step 4. Ask yourself who, amongst your existing clients, sounds like the ICP you’ve just built? In my experience, the best way to build an ICP is by identifying existing clients who already fit your ICP parameters; not by vaguely thinking of someone out there who might do business with you. This also allows you to change your list of top goals, opportunities and challenges based on what your current clients say.

Step 5. Schedule some time to talk to existing clients about the results of your brainstorming efforts. I recommend that you record the sessions if they allow it. Have the recording transcribed and run a word analysis to identify common phrases that occur repeatedly. Make a list of these phrases and integrate them into your list of top goals, opportunities and challenges.

Step 6. Now go back to the beginning and ask yourself how the service benefits (Step 2) compare to your updated ICP? Is there a match? If there is, you are ready to move on to the next step. If not, you probably need to work on your service offering.

Use your ICP to build a pull marketing and content marketing strategy

Now it’s time to use your ICP to build a content marketing program that pulls prospective ideal clients toward your company. Here are the steps to accomplish this goal.

Step 1. Pull out your ICP and look closely at Step 3, particularly at the deep-dive discussion of decision-makers’ top goals, opportunities and challenges. Review these with a colleague and make sure you have a good list of what matters to prospective ideal clients. Refine any ideas that need to be updated.

Step 2. Organize these top concerns into three buckets based on how easy they are to address. For instance, a topic that is easy to address lends itself to a 1,000-word blog post. A topic that requires more discussion and analysis may lend itself to a webinar. A complex, multi-faceted topic may lend itself to an e-book or Action Guide. The end of this process should result in a list of topics that are organized by short, medium and long-form content types.

Step 3. Build an editorial calendar to define how you’ll produce and broadcast the content. If you’re not sure what I mean by an editorial calendar, you can learn more about this in an Action Guide called 7 Steps To A Lead Nurturing Program That Keeps You In Front Of Prospects

Step 4. Build your broadcast plan. All of the greatest ideas and content types in the world won’t do you any good unless prospective ideal clients access them. To engage prospects with your content, you need a solid plan. These days, most services firms use email marketing, social marketing, pay-per-click and, to a limited degree, search engine optimization to get their content in front of the right people.

Execute your plan

Once you’ve taken these steps, you’re ready to execute a pull marketing plan that will attract new ideal clients to your company. They will come because you’ve produced content on topics they cannot resist. They will be ideal to your company because you’ve addressed topics that only people who fit your ideal client profile will care about.

Give these steps a whirl and let me know how they work for you. I look forward to hearing your story.

About The Author

Randy Shattuck is a seasoned entrepreneur who works hand-in-hand with senior leaders of mid-size professional service firms to grow revenues, acquire clients, open new markets, increase profits and effectively position their brands.

OUR BLOG

SALES

Five Strategies For Midsize Service Firms To Break Through Revenue Plateaus
How Pro Service Firms Can Fix The ‘Drop Everything — Chase Money’ Problem
Prospect, Originate, Navigate: How To Fill Your Professional Service Pipeline
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Think Carefully About Your Promise
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 7
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 6
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 5
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 4
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 3
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 2
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 1
How Mid-Size Service Firms Can Acquire Great New Clients On LinkedIn
Five Ways The Consultative Sale Improves Profits
How To Win The Complex Service Sale Consistently
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
How To Break The Grip Of Rainmaker Culture
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
How To Know When Prospects Are Ready
How To Pull Prospects Into Conversations
Nurture Organic Relationships Online
How To Build Relationships With Jaded Prospects
Do Prospects Want To Buy Or Be Sold?
Close Deals Faster Using Proof Statements
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
Quick Or Deep Content: Which Is Better For Professional Service Firms?
Most Leads Are Not Ready To Engage – But They Will Be

MARKETING

How To Market Managed Services - Part 3
How To Market Managed Services - Part 2
How To Market Managed Services Today – Part 1
Why Service Firms Need A Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
Does Your Website Attract Ideal Clients?
Why Service Firms Need The Ultimate Digital Marketing Stack
The Myth Of The Time-Starved Service Buyer
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
Why You Need A Generous Brand
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
Are You Measuring Your Time Funnel?
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Five Digital Marketing KPIs
Can Service Pros Over 40 Succeed In Digital?
Do Your Users Experience Content Regret?
Content Registrations Are Not Enough
Is Your Website Open For Business
How To Build A Great Digital Marketing Plan
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
The Value Of An Idea Driven Website
A New Website Won’t Bring You New Clients
Do You “Get” Digital Marketing? – Part 2
Do You Get Digital Marketing?
Who Benefits From Your Content?
Lead Nurturing Versus Content Marketing
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Make Your Website A New Client Driver
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
How To Get The Greatest Value From Content Marketing
Why You Should Absolutely Give Away Your Best Ideas
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
How To Nurture Ideal Prospects
Quick Or Deep Content: Which Is Better For Professional Service Firms?