I do a lot of work with companies where the key business critical issue is “how to get more clients?” well as we all know there is no quick fix, but one thing I can say is that it helps a lot knowing where and what to look for before you start investing in campaign activity.
A couple of simple observations that I would recommend to any client:
1. Examine your present customers list, do a little bit of segmentation such as active clients, lapsed clients, clients by turnover, profitability and length of relationship. Look for some patterns that may help you target new clients and perhaps more importantly cross sell existing services.
2. Learn from your success. The good old 80/20 rule often applies (80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients – this is not always an exact science but there will be some truth in this – ask yourself the question why? What is it about these clients and the way you work with them that makes them such good client for you?
3. Look in your 2nd and 3rd tier clients, where does potential exist to grow these clients to become high performing (part of your to 20% client list) – you should invest time and money in key account management in order to grow these clients – remember you already have a relationship with the key stakeholders and you know quite a lot about their business!
4. Where you have a key account, draw some conclusions from your analysis in point 1 and use it to target other businesses that match these criteria. Try and get some targeted conversations / engagement going with a view to getting in front of them so you can explain what you have done for other people like them and what you could do for them.
It's still a very tough market out there and I would suggest that when things are tight you need to focus on your existing business client base and also maximise your learning in order to steer your resources to achieve success in acquisition and profitable growth.