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Finding Clients

We have gradually been building our business over the past three to four years, picking up a small number of good quality clients each year, without much effort or advertising and in a very specialist area.

In April we decided to resign from one of our highest paying clients.  The position became untenable , for various reasons, and at the time we viewed this as stepping back to move forward.

With much more time available we have put a huge effort into marketing and finding clients, during May and June.  Although we have had a couple of opportunities these have come to nothing.  

We are now getting concerned as previously we seemed to walk into one job after the next, without really very much effort.  Now, we are making tremendous effort and nothing is materialising.

It is getting to the stage where it is getting disheartening.  For five months now we have taken on no new work.  Prior to this we were picking up a good quality client every two to three months.

We would appreciate any advice or other people's experiences.  For now we just keep moving on and hoping that the effort will eventually pay dividends.  

 

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24th Jun 2018 20:15

Interesting. What is your specialist area.

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By Matrix
24th Jun 2018 22:58

I find most prospects come from referrals rather than marketing so tell all your clients that you are looking for referrals and follow up on any leads from the last 12 months. Maybe meet face to face with your top clients and try and sell additional services and ask them for referrals at the same time.

Sorry if you are already doing all this.

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03rd Jul 2018 11:25

What marketing are you doing and what Niche is it you have.

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By Maslins
25th Jun 2018 11:52

One thing which can be tricky is putting previous rejections behind you. Can be a downward spiral, you don't get a couple of potentials, so walk into the next with head held low, lacking confidence...which doesn't help win the next one.

The best/easiest client wins tend to be referrals...and whilst you can gently encourage those, they can't really be forced. Marketing heavily won't get extra referrals, just more "cold" leads.

Also still sounds like it's fairly early days. Ie you said you used to pick up a good client every 2-3 months, and now it's been 5 months without one. You'd only have expected perhaps 1 or 2 in that time. I don't think it's panic stations.

Do you get any feedback from the potential clients you don't get? I appreciate not always easy to ask for, and they may not respond/provide some BS just to get rid of you...but no harm in asking (obviously ensure it's not remotely in a sulky way!).

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25th Jun 2018 12:07

The OP is anonymous and isn't going to fall for that old trick of revealing their identity.

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25th Jun 2018 12:40

I don't understand why you have had a flow of new business in the past and this has suddenly stopped.

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By DJKL
to Red Leader
25th Jun 2018 15:44

In a tight industry/ local area it could be losing the large client had an adverse impact on prospective others, especially if the parting was not on the best of terms.

The OP will have a better idea than us how incestuous the niche might be.

Whilst not accountancy I know my B in L struggled initially with only 2-3 main clients, he then landed one client in Switzerland with worldwide connections and now cannot service all the enquiries, now travelling to South America, New Zealand, everywhere. In his case the one client opened the door to the others,could the departed client be similar for the OP but in reverse?

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By SXGuy
25th Jun 2018 15:10

With the right social Media campaign you can generate new leads every month. Even 1 a month is alot though.

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25th Jun 2018 23:56

Same as back in the days of looking for love... Opportunities would come by while I was in a relationship (passed upon of course), then when actually single and looking for a partner... Zilch! Nada!

Don't get disheartened. We've all been there. You'll most likely pick two / three up when you least expect it. (Clients not ladies)

Chin up

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03rd Jul 2018 10:55

When I set up my practice initially I was desperate for new clients, it just took some patience and the understanding that it was my few existing clients who generated the most new work for me.

Use the "spare" time you have to maximise the service you provide to existing clients, go and have a coffee and a chat with them, you'll be surprised what may come out of it.

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