There are very few people that have been able to remain financially unaffected by the global economic shutdown brought on by the various governmental lockdown measures due to COVID-19. Faced with unprecedented job cuts, loss of income and a hesitance by consumers to spend – entrepreneurs and SME's face what will probably be one of the toughest markets of our generation.
Jacqueline Raw, Owner and Founder of Ycagel says that for consultants like herself, the situation is no less sobering. “Being able to expand our client base and increase our service offerings are now, more than ever, critical to our longevity and even to our survival,” she explains.
Jacqui offers three key tips to landing new business in a post-COVID-19 economy:
1. Don't reinvent the wheel: You have established your credibility in your industry by delivering on client's expectations and getting results. The first place to start when looking to expand your service offerings is with your current client base. Reach out to your clients and assess to see if there is an opportunity to expand their portfolios with you. Be clear about what other services you can bring to the table and don't be afraid to ask for business. This is the likeliest source of new opportunity as a consultant to ensure you don't miss out.
2. Have a plan: Often as consultants or entrepreneurs, we don't have a sales plan or sales targets. It's easy to become overly comfortable and assume security. A powerful activity to ensure you land new business is to create a hit list of the top 20 clients you'd like to work with and why. Once you've nailed that down, you need to shape your value offering to suit the needs of each client. Then, reach out to key decision-makers within these organisations. LinkedIn is a great place to start these conversations, introduce yourself, share your thoughts on where you can add value and above all else – just don't quit.
3. Bring value to the table: An important tactic in new business development is the art of bringing value to the table first and then asking for commitment second. Showing that you understand a potential client's pain points AND that you have a possible solution is a surefire way to get your foot in the door. If you’re a web developer - audit 20 websites for free – send the results and your recommendations with the next steps to the clients you're hoping to work for. There is always a way to give the client something tangible to consider before offering your IP or services as a possible solution.
“The only real certainty in business is that nothing is certain. What you can control is the quality of the work you deliver, how authentically you live your brand and business values and ensuring you conduct your business with integrity. If you do these things AND you develop perseverance and grit – there no way you can fail. Remember - today is not the day you quit,” Jacqui concludes.