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The Four Stages of Adding New Business Clients

This content applies to most small business owners selling a product or service starting at $1,000 and higher.

The four stages to add new clients are: having the desire, getting the technical training or education, using a good system and executing the plan.

Our experience and research identify 95% of small business owners do well in the first two stages and have little to no experience in the last two stages.

The first two stages

People select interesting careers through childhood dreams or early adult life exposure. They are excited to soon work in the legal, accounting, financial services, dental, plumbing, flooring, heating and air, etc. They research occupations and complete the educational requirements.

When the business opens, finding new clients seems like a piece of cake. Just advertise in the community newspaper. Or, invest $10,000 in website SEO services. Or, spend $10,000 for mailers. Remember, the article and podcast episode look at business owners marketing products and services starting at $1,000 and higher.

Consumers have a separate buying psychology when product and service prices exceed $1,000 compared to prices at $50 or $200.

What is the consumer psychology activated for high priced items?

Many consumers feel product and services are overpriced. Yes, business owner's eight years studying law, accounting, or medicine are not considered by the consumer when the price is $8,000. The business owner's ten years experience installing tile or replacing a HVAC system is overlooked when the price is thousands of dollars.

Consumers want small business owners to provide the product or service, at cost. I know it's a ridiculous conclusion to think consumers do not want business owners to earn a profit. But it's true mainly because small business owners unconsciously position products and services to viewed by price instead of attributes more desired by consumers. Offering a product, at cost, or, no profit, is similar to a communist country supplying all products and services to its citizens by wiping out all private sector businesses.

Now, let's move on to Stages 3 and 4.

Ninety-five percent of small business owners hit the new client/business expansion wall after stages 1 and 2.

After passive marketing efforts return little to no sales growth, small business owners are shell-shocked. What is passive marketing? Click HERE to visit a website accurately defining passive marketing. Passive marketing is not effective for selling high price products and services.

Most small business owner lack business development training and experience. Business development skills promote effort-based actions to identify and find new clients.

The biggest challenge for business owners implementing business development strategies is uncertainty...and to a lesser extent pride.

Learning business development is similar to a cosmetologist cross training to become an auto mechanic or, an airline pilot taking heart surgery classes. Now, I am being a little sarcastic. The point is business development training is about growing and mastering specific people skills and, often, business owners have not spent time learning about people.

Business development training focuses on mastering five front-end sales activities. These front-end sales activities are: contacting, prospecting, appointment setting, closing and getting zero-cost referrals.

Mastering these front-end sales activities takes about 6 to 9 months to build confidence and competence. The six-to-nine hour sales system training is offered via webinar or live at your business location.

In our first three years, 321 Biz Development only offered sales system, but realized business owners needed support executing the five front-end sales activities. Now, 321 Biz Development fulfills the contacting activity and helps small business owners improve closing ratios and referral growth.

Then, there is the pride component. Many business owners with advanced degrees with tuitions costing $300,000 or more find difficulty in asking for help. Business owners believe degrees, certifications, and years experience should drive consumers to buy.

With so many sales gimmicks in today's business and, consumers being burned many times, they have become skeptical about spending their hard earned monies. Sales system and business development training reduce buyer anxiety.

Interested parties looking for sales system and/or business development training can contact us at (415) 963-4500.

Rick Nappier is a California former F500 sales executive working in the health insurance industry and currently works as a California health insurance broker.

Happy New Year!

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