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Would you like more clients?
Lead flow is the #1 problem our consulting team sees when we work with business owners.
While there are ways to increase revenue and improve profitability that aren't directly tied to client acquisition, the lion's share of growth strategies involve getting more paying customers through the door.
So, how do you drive more leads into your business?
There's a foolproof formula for guaranteeing you hit your new client targets. It's not rocket science, but it does require working a plan.
Step 1: Document your sales and marketing funnel
Write out every step in your client acquisition process as it currently exists. The best way to do that is to start with the very last step.
Your funnel might look something like this (working backwards):Send agreement for signature and initial invoice
• Send agreement for signature and initial invoice • Set up a meeting to walk the client through your proposal and close the deal • Discovery call to determine your client's needs and prepare a proposal • Lead comes in via email from a referral source
Step 2: Determine your conversion rates at each step
Don't let the fancy marketing term confuse you. All you want to figure out is the percentage of leads who move on to the next phase in your sales and marketing funnel.
For example, how many meetings where you walk a lead through a proposal actually turn into clients? Let's say it's about half. Your conversion rate is 50%.
In other words, you need 2 proposal meetings to gain 1 new client.
Then go to the previous step. How many discovery calls lead to proposal meetings? If you aren't tracking this data (that's okay right now), look back at your calendar to see who you met with.
You might initially think everyone moves on to a proposal. But then you remember that person who kept pushing off the meeting, the lead who ghosted you over email, etc.
Let's say it's about half again to keep the math simple.
Now you need 4 discovery calls to get 2 proposal meetings to gain 1 new client.
Now we're at the initial step in our example process, where a lead comes in. Let's stick with our pattern and assume half of all leads convert to a discovery call.
So your final formula is: 8 leads => 4 discovery calls => 2 proposal meetings => 1 new client
For every new client you want to acquire, you need 8 leads.
Step 3. Decide on a new client goal
How many new clients do you actually want? This goal gives your sales and marketing team the information they need to structure their efforts accordingly.
If you want 3 new clients this quarter, they may be able to rustle up 24 leads organically. But if you want 10 new clients, they may need a bigger budget to pull in those 80 prospects.
The number of leads required should also act as a check on any new client goals you set to make sure they are realistic. Ambitious is a good thing, but realistic is also important.
Step 4: Double it for a guarantee
This little piece of brilliance comes from my own coach, Mark Moses. Mark is aggressive, but he also doesn't like to lose. So when it comes to hitting goals, he prefers to play it safe.
In our example, let's say you want to bring on 5 new clients. The formula tells you that you need 40 leads to acquire those clients.
But to actually guarantee that you get the number of leads you need, you should multiply 40 x 2.
Yep, that's 80 leads total to bring 5 new clients on board.
Does this seem like overdoing it? You could argue that's the case. But if something happens (and something always happens) and your formula doesn't work exactly as planned, you'll still hit your lead targets.
And if the formula does work as planned?
Well, if you get 10 new clients instead of 5, are you going to be mad about it?
Of course, once you've determined your formula for client acquisition, you need to figure out how to fill your funnel.