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Amplifying Your Marketing: How Client Acquisition Systems Are The Key To Attracting Consistent New Business We must learn to effectively position ourselves in front of those who need what we have to offer, and this requires implementing client acquisition systems that work.

By Mark Sephton

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This December marks 12 years of running my own business. While I am very proud of this success, I also know that I must continually work to stay relevant, provide value, and consistently attract new clients. This becomes particularly important in today's saturated market where everyone seems to be a coach.

Over the years, I have diversified and added services to my customer offerings, and the variety has sustained me, while also keeping me sane and hungry to keep contributing. Personally, contribution is my greatest value. I enjoy being able to impart my acquired wisdom and knowledge to help others thrive and flourish. Contribution is my sweet spot.

Admittedly though, my love for the work itself -coaching and mentorship- can sometimes distract me from the need to focus on things like client acquisition systems. I also know that the things I've done over the past 12 years won't get me to where I need to be in the next 12 years. Something needs to evolve to generate a recurring client base.

The landscape for finding and engaging customers has shifted. This can feel exciting, or it can cause stagnation and feelings of malaise. However, we can't simply expect clients to find us. We must learn to effectively position ourselves in front of those who need what we have to offer, and this requires implementing client acquisition systems that work.

This idea of mastering marketing through the lens of today's landscape and human behavior led me to the husband-and-wife team, Timothy Dodd and Cindy Makita Dodd. Together, they have created, a B2B client acquisition agency that helps individuals establish systems that grow business through high quality clients.

Timothy Dodd and Cindy Makita Dodd. Image courtesy

Here are excerpts from my conversation with them:

Why is client acquisition so important, and how does it differ from lead generation?

The only reason anyone would ever want "leads" is because they want clients. Yet, here's the problem– the word "leads" means something different to everyone, whereas "clients" means clients. Some people hear "lead," and they think of a list of phone numbers to call, while another person thinks of a call booked on their calendar that's ready to buy, and yet another might view someone who clicked a link to your website as a lead.

On the other hand, client means client. Either you landed a client, or you didn't. So, when you think of client acquisition versus just lead generation, you're thinking of the entire process of getting clients from beginning to end. That means you need interested people who have the potential to buy your service (lead flow), systems and processes to convert the interested people into clients (sales conversion), and processes in which your clients keep buying more stuff from you (retention).

You can get thousands of "leads," but if you don't have a well-designed process to convert those leads into paying clients, your lead generation efforts are a waste of time and money. Most modern lead generation efforts fail because they only focus on a small piece of the larger picture of getting clients, and this gives lead generation a bad rap in the online world. That's why focuses on the entire client acquisition journey, which includes lead nurturing and conversion, which streamlines and simplifies the process of converting leads into paying clients.

Related: Customers Aren't Acquired, They're Created

What marketing habits can we begin to establish to ensure we are acquiring new customers into our business?

Choose one marketing channel for getting clients, and master it- think LinkedIn, Meta, email, etc. We love outbound to start, because your cost to get customers is lower, making profits higher as you scale. For example, your cost per meeting is going to be lower than paid ads, and you'll be able to get on calls in a matter of days or weeks. This means fast speed to result and high profit margins.

Dial in your sales process on this channel, and then, max out that channel. Squeeze all the juice you can out of the orange. Dial in the systems, and build systems around it to get the maximum value from that channel. Once you've done this, then move to the next channel.

If you start with outbound marketing, you'll have two things. First, you'll have high profit margins which means you'll have money to invest in more expensive forms of marketing like paid ads. Second, you'll have your sales process for outbound dialed in, so that if you do move to another channel like paid ads, you'll be able to quickly get a return on investment.

When operating in a market that is saturated, how does one stay relevant and stand out?

Think about this like writing a best-selling book. Most people think they need to write the best-written book. But it's not the best-written book that wins, is it? It's the best sold book that wins. Does it need to be a good book? Yes, it does. But it does not have to be the best book to be the best-sold book.

It's the same with any other product in the market. It's not the best product or service that stands out in the market, it's the best sold product or service. Your service could be 100 times more effective than your competitors, but if they know how to market and sell themselves better than you, they will get more customers every time.

In order to stay relevant and stay competitive, you need to double down on a few marketing channels that will get you in front of your ideal customers, and then spend time perfecting your sales process so you have the highest chance of converting interested prospects into paying clients.

How can we improve our marketing to attract higher paying clients?

What I'm about to say has been said millions of times before. It's cliche. It's a "duh, we already knew that." But I've rarely met someone who knows how to give a practical and easy application to what I'm about to tell you. You need an "irresistible offer." Whether you've heard this before or not, it's true. You need an offer that people would feel dumb saying no to.

How do you do that though? While there are a million books on how to create an "irresistible offer," most will leave you overwhelmed and confused. Instead, here's three simple things you need to pull this off.

  1. Your offer needs to explain why, what a person tried before, didn't work in such a way that they think, "Wow, I totally see why my past attempts failed." That will automatically position you as an authority they can trust to fix their problem.
  2. From there, all you need to do is show how you have a unique approach to fixing the problem.
  3. And, for the cherry on top, you charge significantly more than what the marketplace is charging, and they will automatically see you as being much more valuable.

If you can do those three things, you'll be able to attract better clients and charge whatever price point you want, so long as you can deliver 10x value for what you're charging.

Over time, how important is it to change our offering– both for new and existing clients?

If you're talking about acquiring new clients, you'd be surprised how long certain offers will work. Though oftentimes, we get tired of our offer way before the market does. Here's how we see it at our agency: test different offerings, and once you have a clear winner, ride it out as long as you possibly can until the data proves your offer is no longer performing. Then put that offer in the archive for future use. (Trust me, it'll work again, and again, and again). Then ride the wave on your next highest-performing campaign until data proves it's not working. Then put that offer in the archive for future use. Rinse and repeat.

On the other hand, if you're talking about retaining clients, that's a different story. People want continuous new value. Think of Netflix. Their current content library has more movies and shows than you could watch in 50 years, but no one would pay a subscription to have access to that library if they didn't have new movies or shows coming out. The question becomes: as a company, how do you continue to innovate and add new value to your clients? How do you keep it fresh? 'Cause like any relationship, if you don't keep things new, fresh, and spicy, your clients will leave you for someone else.

Related: Crowdsourcing Customer Acquisition: A Cost-Effective Way To Gain Customers For Your Startup

Mark Sephton

Entrepreneur, Mentor, and Business Coach

Mark Sephton is an international personal mentor to entrepreneurs, basing his program on a GPS system with eight key fundamentals. This system reveals blind spots, efficiencies and deficiencies, and is used to find your “inner sniper” to improve your instinct, producing devastating results in your own revolution of discovery. It is hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame. Changing the way you think through culture and mindset shifts and introduced to game-changing habits helps increase your productivity and sky rocket your personal brand. 

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