Spread your net to catch new clients

JEFF KNIGHT, CONSULTANT, TONIC MARKETING SOLUTION

People buy from people – that’s the power of face-to-face advice. But before clients listen to your advice you have to find them, or let them find you.

The market has changed in many ways. Research shows that a huge proportion of Brits watch television while surfing the internet on laptops or mobiles.

Like it or not, the internet is a huge part of prospecting for clients. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t find the likes of Halifax, HSBC and ING appearing in sponsored links when you type ’mortgage broker’ into Google.

The role of search engines should not be underestimated. To enhance your prospecting you need to appear high up the listings.

To boost your position one good tip is to list your company on local and national business networking sites such as LinkedIn and BT’s Tradespace. You can also sign up to websites such as Freeindex to expand your reach.

This will help your business climb the listings but also provide some defence – if a prospect types your name in your competitors may also appear but the above measures should push them down the list.

You also need a good website. The homepage is the most important section but focus on navigation too. Prospects must be able to find information with minimum click-throughs. Prospects will quickly form an opinion of your company while on your site so keep it fresh.

So while people will continue to buy from people the internet has a big part to play in your prospecting. Avoid it at your peril.