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FRESH FRIDAYS: Sparking relationships that breed business success

It’s no secret that a business can’t flourish without proactively engaging with prospective clients and building long term relationships. This goes for big businesses, growing start-ups, and even individuals looking to launch their careers.

Reaching out to potential clients is crucial to expand your network and increase brand awareness… but it can sometimes be challenging to stand out and captivate your prospects in a competitive market. The recipe for success involves targeting a niche space, developing a strong relationship with clients and, above all, delivering great results.

But the initial connection - one that could spark a great professional relationship - is sometimes the hardest to make. So we’ve put together some top tips for proactively engaging your prospects:

Be Smart

  • Quality over quantity - Rather than making lots of random calls, do your home work and select the most appropriate contacts.
  • Use your existing network - Get referrals from other divisions of their company or another client - people will often be more willing to listen if they know you have a mutual contact.
  • Engage before you call -  If you’ve met a prospective client at an industry conference, attended a talk they’ve given, or become acquainted through social media, it’s more than likely that they’d be happy to take time out of their busy day to have a conversation with you.

Listen

  • Connect, don’t pitch - Rather than trying hard to pitch, ask and listen to the client’s needs.
  • Inform, don’t sell - The initial call is to open dialogue and advise the client objectively, not push the benefits of your business. If you’re a potential employee, do your research. Find out who the right people are to talk to about openings within the business, and try to gauge what sort of people they’re looking to employ.

Follow-up

  • Impressions last  - Even if a client doesn’t need your services right now, leaving a good impression will ensure that it’s you that they think of when something crops up further down the line.
  • Keep in touch - An arrangement of the next step forward with a client is the best outcome. A meeting is especially great, as it increases engagement and gives you the opportunity to find out more about their business. Otherwise, follow up after the call with a valid reason for further contact, such as an invite to an event of interest.

So from now on, when captivating prospects, start as you mean to go on. Building trust with clients leads to a more beneficial relationship for all. Having invested your time at the initial stage of  a relationship, be sure to follow through, and maintain a strong connection to deliver outstanding results.