10 Tips to Find and Win the Best Clients The keys to bringing in the business that is most beneficial is to know whom you are looking for and what they are looking for.

By John Rampton

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With 2014 rapidly coming to a close, there's no better time to plan for next year. As an entrepreneur or business owner, that planning should include methods to attract new clients.

However, instead of just attracting any client for the sake of a sale, put your energy and resources into landing the absolute best clients for your company. Here are 10 tips for accomplishing that goal.

1. Know who your clients are.

If you want to find the best clients for your business, then you have to really know whom to target by narrowing your focus. Tom Patty suggests in the Wall Street Journal that you ask questions like "What do they do?" and "What do they value?" Once you have this information, you can tailor messages specifically to attract them on the networks where they'll discover you.

2. Have a better voice mail.

Instead of leaving a generic and basic voicemail, record a voicemail that offers a call-to-action. Mark Heinz of Heinz Marketing LLC says your voicemail should answer a question, direct them to your website or tell them how to schedule an appointment. His gives this example:

"Hi, this is Matt from Acme Products. I'm currently helping another customer, but can't wait to help you, too! Please leave me a short message with your number and I'll call back as soon as possible. In the meantime, please visit my website, at www.AcmeProducts.com, for a sneak preview of our new products and promotions."

My personal voicemail tells people to text or email me. This is the best way to get ahold of me. I don't like to talk on the phone. Whatever you prefer, make sure your voicemail is to the point and has a clear call to action.

Related: 3 Surprising Ways to Find New Clients

3. Attend trade shows.

Attending trade shows is a great way to network with influencers and prospective clients within your industry. More importantly, however, trade shows are a great way to also discover how your industry is changing.

While at a trade show I like to hang out around the speaker sessions. That's typically where the people who pay top dollar go. They want to learn. Those are the people that I've always had the best luck with becoming my customers. They are people paying to learn, not just in the exhibit hall paying to acquire customers.

4. Start a newsletter.

Create some riveting, unique content and then give it away for free by having site visitors sign-up for a newsletter. Not only does this establish you as expert, it will also give you the email addresses of prospective clients. Now that you have these email addresses, you can begin to communicate with these important, potential clients.

5. Help the local community.

You can build trust with top-notch clients by supporting a local community organization or sharing advice with others. Patrick Bishop, author of Money-Tree Marketing, suggests to Entrepreneur that you "Set up a fund-raising program that benefits a school, like a discount card. At the same time the kids [are selling them, they are] promoting your business."

6. Work with other companies.

My buddy Brian Honigman taught me this trick. By teaming up with complimentary businesses, you're spreading the word about your business. Furthermore, you're gaining exposure to clients who may be interested in the products or services that you're offering. For example, if you are selling a line of pet grooming product, then you might leave brochures at local vet offices or place ads on websites that focus on pet care.

In short, you want to have presence where your top prospects are hanging out. I've used this successfully over the past three years to win over the best clients in the industry. It works amazingly well. Teaming up with other companies can provide much more credibility that going at it alone.

Related: The Fastest Way to Find New Customers

7. Make them feel special.

If you really want to win over clients, go all out to impress them. Content marketing expert Nick Davis suggested to me years ago that "I needed to make each person I meet and interact with feel special in some way. When you make someone feel special it creates a bond with them. Even in the online world, make them feel that connection."

Since learning this technique, I have started hugging most people that I meet. When you meet me, I'm going to hug you. It's my thing. This makes people feel special and it's something that most people don't realize but feel. It's helped me over the years to create amazing relationships that have turned into long-term clients.

8. Showcase your work.

Clients want to see results. So, how can you show them these results if you've never worked with them? The best place to start is by creating a powerful online portfolio.

Kristi Hines notes on FreshBooks that there several ways to share your portfolio online. These range from:

  • A full website.
  • A one-page portfolio on your blog.
  • Links on social networks.

Once you've settled on the best location to showcase your work, consider including corporate logos of companies you've previously worked with and a video highlighting what you do best or examples of previous work.

By creating an online portfolio you're not only giving clients an idea of the quality of work you provide, you're also establishing their trust in that you can handle the job at hand.

9. Ask for referrals.

Don't hesitate to ask your current clients for referrals. As the American Institute of CPAs notes, "Current clients lead to future clients." Why? Because we tend to trust people we know. Just remember to thank clients for their referral by offering a gesture of thanks, such as taking them out to dinner or offering them a discount.

10. Help people.

I learned this lesson at a startup community I've been apart of for years called StartupGrind. They encourage people to not "pitch" each other but ask the other person how you can help them. These types of relationship have proved to be the best relationships I've ever had. It has gotten me countless clients as well as lasting relationships.

Use these tips to win over the best clients in the world. The more you have a plan, the better your business will succeed over the coming years. What additional tips have you found to win clients?

Related: Aim Directly at Your Target Market to Land New Clients

John Rampton

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Entrepreneur and Connector

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the calendar productivity tool Calendar.

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