steve strauss, usatoday small business columnist

09.09.2019

Marketing  |  5 min read

How to get higher paying clients

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Steve Strauss

My good pal David faced a crisis in 2008 when the Not-So-Great Recession hit.

For many years, Dave had ridden the Southern California real estate gravy train. The market in Los Angeles had gone up, up, up, and getting clients had been easy, easy, easy. David’s income was in the mid-six figures for many years he thought he was a real estate whiz kid.

Until.

The double-whammy of the recession and the drop-off in the L.A. real estate market brought him crashing back down to Earth. Suddenly, deals were harder to come by and his income took a big hit.

It was against this backdrop that Dave learned a business secret that he shared with me and which I would like to share with you today.

Not knowing what to do, Dave set up a meeting with his mentor – an established old real estate pro who had been through more than a couple of real estate roller coasters. David explained the problem, and this is what the master told him:

“Dave, markets go up and markets go down. Obviously, we are in a down market and I don’t see that changing for a while. So, if the market isn’t going to change, you have to.

“Here is what I suggest: Put your time, energy, effort, money, marketing, and resources into getting bigger clients and doing bigger deals."

“It takes just about the same amount of effort to do a deal for a commercial property at $5 million as it does to do one for a house for $500,000, but you will make ten times as much. If you are only going to do a few deals a year now because of the market, make sure they are big deals.”

And so that is what my friend did. He dug in and learned everything he could about commercial real estate. He took marketing classes. He learned about selling to corporate clients.

And it paid off.

Though he only did but one deal the next year, it was for a 10-unit apartment building and his commission was enough to keep him afloat. And now, here, a few years later with the real estate market booming once again, Dave is doing great. “It was a tough lesson,” he told me, “but a valuable one. I am making more money and having more fun than ever.”

So, how does this relate to you?

The answer is that you too should consider not only looking for bigger clients, i.e., ones with bigger budgets but also, setting yourself up to handle such clients.

Let’s drill down into Part I of that equation:

Bigger clients + bigger budgets = bigger paydays.

So the key is that you have to seek out and find corporate clients, government contracts, and high net worth individuals and partners. (Where are they? Keep reading!)

Let me add that this strategy isn’t just theory for me. I am a writer. My business creates content. When I pitched my work to other small businesses and non-profits, times were tougher. And when I employed Dave’s strategy and sought out and found bigger clients and customers, my business exploded.

This works.

Second, you have to be ready when you do nab these better clients. That means being professional and having systems in place that allow you to communicate with them consistently, professionally, and effectively.

Check it out: According to our pals at Keap, 44% of potential customers don't hire a business because of lack of follow-up.

The smart way to eliminate that flaw then is to systematize your marketing, sales, and follow-up. Keap, for instance, has an automated communication and sales process that will allow you, the small business, to stay on top of things and look professional the whole way.

Sounds great, right? It is, but you are probably still wondering where exactly to find these bigger clients and how to you sell to them?

There are many ways: Social media is one. Networking is another. Advertising in the right places is yet another. Locating and bidding on contracts works. And yes, even cold-calling in the right circumstance can pay huge dividends.

If this intrigues you (and I hope it does) then let me suggest that you take my upcoming free Keap webinar.

Keap and I have teamed up and I will be presenting a webinar entitled, "How to Get High Paying Customers and Clients" on Tuesday, September 24 and Wednesday, September 25. In it, I will not only share a half dozen unique and different ways to find these high-paying clients, and how to sell to them, but I will also explain what they are looking for in partners and why this economy is the best time to jump on this powerful strategy.

And, like I said, it’s free and it works. Hope to see you there!


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