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How Can I Land My First Client?

I have a small commercial cleaning company. I have been trying to get business for more than three months but have not been successful. I have been passing out flyers as business cards. And have not had one call yet. How can I get that first client? And how can I turn that first client into several?
Pattie Simone answered August 17, 2011
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/222361

Getting your first client can be daunting. Here are a few ideas that can help get you some results:
 

 

  • Make sure your flyer looks professional, and that it lists your phone number, an email address and your website address.
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  • Include info on several kinds of service packages -- with different price points.
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  • Sweeten the deal with a special or discounted introductory prices with a 60-day deadline.
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  • Attend a variety of networking functions, including those hosted by your local and regional Chambers of Commerce. Hand out your flyers after you meet and speak with new contacts.
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  • Reach out to professionals in your network to tell them about your new business. Ask them for referrals.
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  • Develop several versions of a strong 30-second elevator pitch. One example could be something like: "Hi my name is _____. I'm the owner of a new commercial cleaning company based in _____. Our staff uses environmentally-friendly cleaning products and delivers terrific service. We'd like to be your dream cleaning team." Practice your pitches so you sound natural, friendly, professional and confident.
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  • Start cold calling a different types of companies and of varying sizes that are in your geographic market. Keep in mind the larger the company, the longer sales cycle may take.
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  • Follow up each outreach or networking connection with a short email and additional information. For example, a follow-up note can look something like: "It was great to meet you at ______ function. Here is some additional information about our top-notch commercial cleaning services. Please let me know if you have any questions. Looking forward to working with you soon"


  • Also consider getting involved with one or two social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter are great places to start. Share cleaning tips as well as general info that everyone can relate to or find informative, entertaining and interesting.

    By building a community and pursuing a number of different kinds of outreach you should be able to land your first client soon.

    Related: Finding Customers Ahead of a Startup Launch
    Related: Seven Ways to Make Your Customers Love You

     

    As president of Pomona, N.Y.-based marketing-advantage and founder of WomenCentric, Pattie Simone empowers ambitious companies, individuals and entrepreneurs, helping them to develop strategic, integrated, well-branded communications that engage diverse audiences and fuel sales.