Winning new clients: stop talking and start listening!

How do you go about winning new clients? Chances are that once you get them to a meeting, you try to impress them with your expertise and experience. You tell them what you’ve done for other business owners, the difference you’ve made, the amazing results.

But the reality is that – however dazzling your credentials – your potential new client doesn’t really care. What they care about is their own business and whether you can help them achieve what they want for it. That may well be profits and growth, but it could be something completely different – a structured exit strategy or a better quality of life, for example.

And the only way to find out what they want is to ask.

Ask the right questions

Patrick McLoughlin has worked with accountancy firms for more than 20 years, helping them to attract more ideal clients. In that time, he’s learned how to really dig down and find out what the business owner wants.

“If you don’t know why all of your clients set up in business in the first place. If you don’t know what their retirement plans are. If you don’t know what they’re trying to achieve in the next 12 months. It’s then very difficult to bring additional value to them in terms of how you’re perceived. And for that to be reflected in the fees that you receive.”

Patrick recommends asking some key questions to get the ball rolling:

  • ‘How did you start in business? What motivated you?’
  • ‘Say we sit down in 12 months time and it’s been an excellent year, what’s happened? What does that look like’
  • ‘When you lock the door for the final time and walk away, what do you want to have achieved?’

“If we start the meeting on the understanding that the business is only the vehicle for the business owner to get what they want out of life … it makes the situation very different,” Patrick says.

More support for you

There are more insights from Patrick into having great client meetings – including what your real value is for business owners – on the AVN Know How Hub. He explains more in the webinar recording ‘Why you should stop talking and start listening’ in the Getting More Clients section.

The AVN Know How Hub has hundreds of videos, tips and other resources to help you and your clients succeed. If you haven’t subscribed already you can join for as little as £1 (which goes to charity) and get 30 days access. Register here and try it now!


Image by Christina @ on Unsplash.