The reading level for this article is All Levels
Too many people ride the ‘feast or famine’ rollercoaster of clients, especially SUCCESSFUL entrepreneurs. Some months they have almost too many clients and are WAY too busy, and other months, they’re feeling the pinch. The well is dry and they’re digging their well when they’re thirsty. I’ve been there in the past, and there’s nothing worse than experiencing those two extremes on a regular basis. It’ll make you want to go back to Corporate for good! (NOT ME!)
You’ve heard me talk about my NO EXCUSES approach to getting clients. That means that the number one rule I have is that I do SOMETHING to bring clients or client referrals towards me every single day. Otherwise, you’ll find that no matter how good you are, your pipeline will eventually dry up.
The key is to shoot for OVERFILLING your prospect pipeline. Most people just shoot for having SOME people in it. That’s not enough. If you aim for something WAY bigger than what you’ve already gotten so far, you’re more likely to reach even a medium level, than if you were to aim low.
When I talk to my clients about this, the number one answer that comes back is, "But what if I get TOO many prospects? What do I do then?" I’ve even heard, "What if I get TOO big? Then what?" That’s when I usually laugh out loud and say, "GOOD! That’s a good problem to have!"
There are at least 2 solutions for having too many people wanting to work with you at the same time:
- Put them on a waiting list. It’s OK to do this. What you’ll actually notice is the opposite of what you might think would happen. Instead of leaving and saying, "I don’t want to wait," most prospects will chomp at the bit to find out how high up on the waiting list they are and will want to see if they can do anything to start earlier. It’s actually VERY Client Attractive.
- Leverage your time and efforts by creating group programs and charging less than your regular one-on-one fee. You’ll end up being able to work with MORE people at once AND make more money per hour or project than you would with a single person. Leverage is one of the best things ever "invented" and having too many prospects is one way to set yourself up for this.
So, how do you get to this point? Discipline. I’ve often said that I wasn’t born a very disciplined person (or organized for that matter) but as a result of having a full practice and wanting to keep it that way, I’ve taken the NO EXCUSES approach to marketing. So, I’ve worked on setting up systems, being organized (or getting help with it) and learning to master the discipline thing.
That means doing some marketing every single day, no matter how bogged down you are with work and existing clients. Get that newsletter out the door, rip out the newspaper article and send it to an existing client or prospect, send that quick email to the association asking if they accept outside speakers or write a thank you note. Whatever! Just make the time for it and do it.
The key is to do SOMETHING that stimulates future business and referrals because the reason that most entrepreneurs have financial problems is THAT, nothing else, especially the seemingly successful ones. They go to work and only do the work, while everything else gets backed up, especially the marketing.
Make a list of the little things you can start doing DAILY for OVERFILLING your pipeline. Then, make the time for it. Yeah, yeah, I know you’re busy, but maybe it’s first thing in the morning, before you even open up Outlook to check your emails. Maybe it’s right before you turn off the office light and close down your computer. Again, it doesn’t matter, as long as you make a commitment to doing this for the rest of your career. Catch my drift?
It’s actually easy once you get going. You’ll find that you’ll never experience that feast and famine again. Guaranteed.