An area that many advisers seem to find challenging is finding and engaging enough of the right clients. Naturally, there is a great deal of information and advice available in this area, however, if you feel you have diligently tried to find out what to do and yet continue to struggle then this article will hopefully throw some light on the situation.
Rather than looking at client new engagement as simply a function of what strategy, tactics or know-how to employ, the real secret of consistent success has far more to do with mindset. I will share with you how client acquisition can become one of the most enjoyable parts of your business and why, if you let your thinking get the better of you, it will continue to be challenging.
There is no magic bullet
The most common conclusion that people come to, if they are struggling with client acquisition, is that they just need to know what to do. This often sends people on a continual search for the ‘magic bullet’ that will be the breakthrough they are looking for and yet, as far as I can tell, there is no magic bullet. It seems to me, based on twenty five years of owning my own consultancies, that consistently engaging enough of the right clients takes commitment, time, effort, risk and a willingness to continually up your game.
Just the acceptance if this fact alone is often a major leap forward for people because one of the principle reasons that people struggle is that they continually avoid doing what it really takes to get the results they want.
Once we begin to realise that the barriers are in our own minds then we tend to get out of our own way and things begin to happen. I saw a wonderful example of this of few years ago whilst participating in a six-month training programme for coaches.
It was a certification programme and a condition of the certification was that you had to engage a certain number of paying clients during the programme. For people like myself who already had an established business this was straight-forward but there were a significant number of people on the programme who had no experience whatsoever of engaging new clients. Some of these people were really worried about this part of the programme and who can blame them? There are plenty of people who have been in business for years and still worry about it!
Despite the concerns that people had about their ability to engage new clients the message was crystal clear – if you wanted the certification (and people did) then you had to find a way to get over, or get past, whatever unhelpful thinking you have about getting clients.
What was fascinating to me was that people did get over their thinking and got paying clients. As soon as they stopped engaging with their insecure, unproductive thinking their minds were free to get creative and clearly focused upon achieving the outcome they wanted. They realised that the ONLY barrier to their goal was their own thinking.
This is not to say that there isn’t a learning curve because, of course, there is. But I am saying that it is massively under-estimated just how much difference mindset really makes. It can be quite astonishing what we can accomplish when we understand the link between state of mind and performance. In the sports world they realised this a long time ago and many professional players and teams get help in this area. Although the business world has been slower to catch on I am noticing that more and more businesses are realising state of mind is a huge, and relatively untapped, resource for creating step-change results.
Why do advisers keep taking on the wrong clients?
Taking on the wrong clients is rarely a function of not knowing who the right clients are. Once we have been in business for a while then most people tend to get a natural sense of who they work best with.
The reason for continually taking on the wrong clients is because of an insecure mindset, which creates a scarcity mentality. This kind of thinking shows up in a whole variety of ways but can include attitudes such as “I hate to waste an opportunity” or “This client may be unprofitable now but they could be tomorrow’s lottery winner!” or “I have trouble saying “No””. The consequence of this is that too much time is filled up with the wrong clients.
The best activities for you and your business
You can take any tactic – seminars, referrals, social media, introducers, networking – and you will find people who are spectacularly good at it and, conversely, people who cannot make it work at all.
What you will find is that when people make something work it is because of the quality of mind they bring to it. From a clear mind we are highly motivated, focused, resilient, innovative and enjoy what we do – the precise ingredients required to get real results. When people struggle it is because they are in states of self-doubt, procrastination, give up easily, blame circumstances and have low energy – the precise ingredients required to get poor results!
The secret to success is not in searching for the activities that will motivate you because this is a total misunderstanding of the source of our feelings. Something external to you cannot give you a feeling, which is why searching for the ‘magic bullet’ is futile. The magic bullet, rather than being something outside and independent of you, is in upping your mental game because we all have infinite potential for bringing new thinking to old problems.
If you would like more information on ‘How to create clients’ then click here to get access to my FREE report about the art and science of engaging clients in meaningful, profitable and long-lasting business relationships.