• Makheni Zonneveld

7 great tips for getting more clients

Updated: Feb 8, 2019

This post is part of the free Q & A Future Readiness service. If you have not yet subscribed please click here or watch the 4-minute video on the homepage of makheni.com. Please click here for previous blogs in the series.

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This is a continuation of the answer to Nico's question. Please click here if you missed the first two blogs that answer his question.


“Dear Makheni (Translated from Dutch)

Thank you for offering this valuable service for free. Firstly, I would like to apologise for writing in Dutch. Although I can read English, I am not so good at speaking and writing this difficult language. I am an aspiring entrepreneur from Rotterdam. My question is how Future Readiness can help me to be a successful entrepreneur because although I am only 31 years old I am not good with digital skills. My strength is mechanical skills. Will you please start with what Future Readiness is? Nico (not his real name)


Dear Nico

You were supposed to take two actions in the past week. Answer the questions posed in the VAV model and order the free online marketing book. Ordering the book will not help you. Reading the book will not help you but ordering it reading it and implementing the advice will make all the difference. https://bit.ly/2LNw4Hb

Last week I promised you that this week I would look into getting more clients with zero or minimal financial investment. Although advertising plays an important role, your comprehensive marketing strategy should include these tips whether you are advertising or not. These should be implemented on an ongoing basis and become second nature to any serious entrepreneur.

Prospective clients are made up of three categories of people.

1. Existing clients

2. Unconverted leads

3. People who have never heard of us

Whenever I ask entrepreneurs what they do to get more clients or what they intend doing to get more clients or even why they fail to get clients, 100% of the time the answer has to do with spending money on reaching people who have never heard of them. You don’t have to believe me, just ask anyone this question. Not only is it costly but it is more difficult because you have to start by building a trust relationship with people who have never heard of you. Of course you have to try and reach them but while doing so, please do not exclude the first two categories.

1. Offer great service to your existing customers.

The best way to sell new products or upsell to existing customers is to offer them excellent value and excellent service even if they buy the most insignificant product or service from you. ‘The customer is king’ should not only apply to customers who spend more money with you.

2. Keep your relationship with your existing customers warm.

Your customers should know that you care and you do not only think of them when you want to sell them something of ask for something. Continue to send them emails that offer value without selling anything and be available to answer their questions. They will trust you so much that you could sell them used chewing gum – of course you won’t!

3. Follow up with unconverted leads

People who have not bought yet after making contact with you by contacting you via your website, sending you email, calling you, walking into your store etc. The operative word is yet. You do not always buy on the fist contact and the same applies to other people. There are products that lend themselves to impulse buying and those are mainly low ticket items. When you go to buy groceries you do not plan to buy the tempting low ticket items that are always at the till but you end up buying them a lot of the time. You normally take more time to decide on more serious purchases. There is this difference between products but also a difference between people. I know because I am one of those people who take one second to make major decisions like buying a house or a car. Because of that, I spend many frustrating years in sales wondering why some people say ‘I will think about it’ until I really understood cognitive diversity. It is not possible to do justice to cognitive diversity in a blog. That is why I present it in live seminars and in the webinar mentioned in the first blog - https://bit.ly/2OEmGnz.

4. Customer referrals

You can only ask your existing customers for referrals if you have sold them great products/services and offered them excellent service. People are usually glad to help those who have just helped them. Ask for referrals immediately after offering good service and thereafter. Imagine the snowball effect of asking for referrals – for every satisfied customer you will get at least one new lead and if they become a customer they will refer a new lead. Referred leads are easier to convert because the fact that you are referred by someone they know breaks the trust barrier.

5. Supplier referrals

Your suppliers are connected to other people in your industry so if you have a good relationship with them they can be a good source of leads.

6. The interested

How often do you come across curious people who are interested in what you do? You tell them, they say, “That’s interesting” and then you change the subject. That’s a golden referral opportunity missed. That’s the time to take out your pen and notebook and ask for referrals. A serious entrepreneur always has a pen and notebook ready. In fact, you should not leave this to chance. Always ask others what they do and they will reciprocate.

7. Referral strategy

Getting referrals is too important to leave to chance. You should have a system in place that makes sure that you never miss an opportunity to ask for referrals. I know from experience that it is very easy to forget to strike while the iron is hot. Ask for referrals while the client has a warm fuzzy feeling about your brilliant service. If you have someone else selling on your behalf or a sales team make sure there is a solid strategy in place. Many entrepreneurs who employ salespeople make the mistake of leaving sales training to someone else. You should continuously drill into your sales people’s heads that referrals are the lifeblood of the business.

These are all zero budget tips that can earn you a lot of money and neglecting them always costs you a lot of money.

What now?

Nico, go through everything you have learnt thus far and decide which new habits you are going to adopt. I suggest you go through the whole series starting from Linda's question. This is a journey and not a destination so it's always work in progress.

Next week’s topic

I will share at least a hundred of these tips over time but next week I am going to answer the question of someone who asked an interesting question that needs urgent attention. ‘How safe is online business?’

Till next week

Makheni your Future Readiness Coach

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Makheni Zonneveld has extensive experience in helping organisations, teams, individuals and entrepreneurs with real transformation. She employs these communications tools: Online and face2face coaching, speaking, training, storytelling and writing.

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