How to Find and Win Clients

WinIn a post started here, I asked you to respond to my reader’s comments on their biggest challenge in growing their business.

What I’d like from you:

1. Read through the responses.
2. Find one that you know how to solve, or for which you have a helpful suggestion.
3. Leave a comment with your answer. (Remember, you can post under an anonymous “name.”)
4. If your response is on this list, check back here for what people suggested.

Diversify or Die
As an ad agency, we’ve had some solid accounts in a few good markets for several years now.  Frankly, some of our big name clients have been dumb and gone under these last few years.  We DON’T want to follow their lead.  We have to break into new markets.  Two markets in particular we’re looking at are 1) game companies, and 2) clean tech companies.  We have a lot of related experience that maps well. But how can we best communicate that and how do we best approach and position in these two markets?
– Ad Agency
Too Affordable for our Own Good
Frankly, it often turns out that we’re quite a bit more affordable than our competition – and because of that we struggle!  When buyers find out we can accomplish the same thing for so much less than the competition, they lose confidence instead of getting excited.  We’re finding it challenging to find buyers who are cost-conscious and in search of innovation in a sea of buyers looking for tried-and-true.  How do we profile and prospect for the innovator?
– CleanTech Public Utility Consulting Firm
They’re There, They Nibble, They Don’t Bite
We’re recognized experts in our specialized niche market.  Sure, the economy is down, but we’re still seeing lots of opportunity in our market place.  The problem is nobody is taking advantage of it.  Nobody is going after work!  So it’s hard to find people who actually need our services rather than just “kick our tires.”  How do we find, qualify, and land ready-to-buy leads into clients?
– Construction Management Consultants
Diversify or Die #2
We sell heavy equipment to construction companies.  Construction companies… are not buying.  We need to sell to someone other than construction companies.  Pretty simple.  Other than there are a limited number of non-construction buyers and most of their budgets have been downsized, too.  We’re already much more focused on service, overhauls, parts, and the like.  But we’re all ears.
– Heavy Equipment Dealer
Winning A Bid or Two
Most of the bids coming in on construction projects these days are straight out of Disney – complete fairy tales.  On the one hand, you’ve got guys cheating the system by designating everybody an owner of the company so they don’t have to pay certain fees, taxes, and prevailing wages.  On the other hand, you’ve got people returning bids below *cost.*  I haven’t figured out a way to win a bid at break even, let alone a profit.  Thoughts?
– Plumbing Contractor
Cash Flow is King
Don’t get me wrong – we love big projects.  But all the general contractors we do work for have stretched their payment terms out so long that it’s not practical to be in business with just them as clients – and they don’t seem to understand that, or care.  We need faster cash.  We either need from the general contractors, or we need it from somewhere else.  For the moment, we’ve taken to focusing a good amount of effort on growing our service line back up because it provides same-day payment.  Any thoughts on speeding up the generals, or cash in general?
– Electrical Contractor
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