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The Surefire Way to Get in Front of Your Ideal Client Quicker

Every business has its ups and downs. We’ve all had moments where it seems like 24 hours just isn’t enough time in the day, yet we’ve also all experienced those slow lulls where we’re antsy to get new clients in the door.

With the latter, being intentional in your prospecting approach is the best way to make an impact and fill in your client list.

There are countless articles about using social media, email marketing, and networking events like bridal shows to get in front of prospects quickly and earn their business. These are all valid strategies that can be effective in the marketplace, especially if it fits in with your brand and ideal client.

However, it can be difficult to cut through the noise with these methods as all of your competitors are likely following the same path. You must also recognize that these tactics are not sustainable — there is no guarantee that a social media platform will be around forever and bridal shows are too infrequent to remain top of mind. That’s why you need to begin differentiating yourself so you are not caught in the middle of a crowded market.

Enter my chosen strategy for client outreach: vendor collaboration.

That’s right. I find more success connecting with new leads by spending my time on my vendor relationships as opposed to putting myself directly in front of clients. After all, the amount of time spent engaging with one prospective client is rendered pointless within a year when their event has come and gone. Even if you do book them and create the event of a lifetime, you’ll find yourself back at square one with every other prospect to fill in that gap.

Vendor relationships, on the other hand, can pay you back indefinitely. When you have a close relationship with, say, a venue, they have numerous couples signing contracts and looking for vendor recommendations. When my business isn’t growing as fast as I’d like, I use my time and energy to find ways to serve the people that I meet. Forget what they can do for you and start asking yourself: “What can I do for them?”

Here’s a first-hand example of mine:

A local catering company in my area just opened up a small storefront where they make the most stunning food displays you’ve ever seen. Forget charcuterie boards, we’re talking mountains of bite-sized delicacies. This catering company happens to have a lot of corporate clients, which is a target market that I want to dig into more. I approached her with an idea to collaborate for Administrative Professionals’ Day, in which companies can order food boxes and floral arrangements to celebrate their administrative staff. I took a non-floral holiday and turned it into a long list of corporate contacts who will think of my company when Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries roll around.

Now, ask yourself: Who can you collaborate with to complement your services organically?

Through authentic relationship building, you get to learn about people and truly engage with them. It’s not just showing up at a networking event to throw your business cards around until you run out. At that point, you might as well toss them in the trash can on the way in. With every person that you encounter, find a common connection point and take advantage of that. If you meet someone who loves fly fishing, tell them about your dad’s favorite fly fishing spot!

People want to be heard, so take the time to listen with genuine interest and make them feel important. Acknowledge them for their contributions to the industry — if you saw a recent wedding of theirs on Instagram, compliment their work! That’s how you form a supportive community of like-minded peers which will benefit your business for years to come.

Katie Easley is the owner of Kate Ryan Design, a luxury floral and event design studio based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is also a top sales consultant in the wedding industry, specializing in prospecting and client experience.

 

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