Are you a self-employed contractor, freelancer, company manager and you are struggling to find new customers? Has your turnover been stagnating for months? Do you have the impression that the competition is unbeatable? To find your first customers or to renew your btob clientele, it is in your interest to know the methods and strategies that work. Proinfluent reveals the 12 expert advices to know how to find customers in btob.
Find clients in 12 steps:
- Conducting market research;
- Identify your buyer persona;
- Define your graphic charter;
- Animate your community with social networks;
- Find clients with LinkedIn™ ;
- Create your website and work on its SEO;
- Promote your business with advertising;
- Publish articles on your blog;
- Collecting and disseminating customer reviews ;
- Prospecting the right way;
- Prepare your professional meetings;
- Train your sales and marketing teams.
1. Conduct a market study
First of all, to find prospects and customers, you have to know how to stand out from the competition and propose more attractive products, offers or services. To do this, it is essential to carry out a market study. Everyone, including a self-employed person, can and should carry out a market study before the creation of the company.
Thus, the objective is to be able to answer each of the following questions:
The sector of activity
- How is the market in the targeted industry?
- Is it steady or seasonal? Is the future bright for this industry?
- What are the latest tools and innovations that have come out?
- Who are your direct competitors? What offers do they have? How are they positioned in terms of price?
- What is their turnover? How many employees do they have? What prospecting strategies do they use to gain notoriety?
- Do they have physical stores to get in touch with their customers, or do they use a website?
- What are the common characteristics of the customers (geographical location, age range, field of activity…)
- What are their motivations and constraints? What are their buying behaviors?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the product or service?
When you conduct market research, you are not directly looking for customers, however, the answers you get help determine:
- The places (physical or digital) where to prioritize prospecting;
- What sales and marketing pitch to use;
- How to stand out from the competition and hit the bull’s eye;
- What are the tools and strategies for commercial development to adopt according to your sector and its evolutionary perspectives.
The market study and especially the understanding of your targets are the keys to success for all companies! It is the starting point to define the strategy to adopt to gain notoriety among your prospects!
2. Identify your buyer persona
Identifying your buyer persona is indeed an essential step to find new customers. It’s about drawing up a portrait of the typical customer and assigning him a maximum of characteristics. The goal? Identify his buying motivations, his expectations, his needs, but also his constraints and the means of prospecting he is sensitive to.
The persona allows you to know precisely your target and the resources to exploit to reach it.
To define your ideal target customer, collect the information in your database (CRM tool) to establish an average of your customers. Then, ask yourself:
- What is the age range of my target?
- Is she married, single, with or without children?
- What is her profession and financial status?
- What is her problem and how does she try to solve it (Internet research, going to the store…)
- Does she have daily habits?
Try to understand your target audience and their buying behavior! You will then know which resources to exploit to boost your sales and sign new contracts!
Want to know more about the buyer persona? Find here our article dedicated to this subject!
3. Define your graphic charter
The graphic charter includes all the elements that define the visual identity of a brand. The colors, the logo, the typography, or also the slogan allow to recognize a brand without necessarily quoting its name.
Defining the graphic charter of a company is therefore an important step to create your branding. A neat and uniform visual identity on each support makes the company more serious and professional. Please make sure that your website, your business cards, your social network pages, respect the color codes and the criteria of your graphic charter.
It is chosen with care because once in place, a graphic charter should not be changed regularly. In fact, when you are growing and your customers recognize your brand without difficulty, a change in graphic design can destabilize them!
To learn more about the graphic charter, it’s here!
4. Animate your community on social networks
In fact, whether you are a freelancer or a company executive, it is necessary to have a profile or a company page on certain social networks. LinkedIn™ of course, but also Facebook™ and Twitter™ depending on your field of activity. Thanks to them, you establish a social selling strategy, which therefore consists in accompanying sales on social networks (from prospecting to the follow-up of the customer relationship after the purchase)!
Social networks allow you to easily prospect and get in touch with your new customers. However, your presence on social networks is not enough to seduce your network and find customers. Thus, it is important to animate your community, your target, to make a name for yourself in your sector.
This is what we call a community management strategy. It is the management of the brand’s presence on social networks. Concretely, it consists in :
- Interact with your network (comments, shares, likes);
- Publish regularly varied content (carousel, native post, video, poll, news…);
- Optimize and update the page, the profile.
If you define and activate your community management strategy, social networks are also flourishing levers to find new btob customers!
5. Find clients with LinkedIn™
What are the benefits of using LinkedIn™ to find clients?
LinkedIn™ is a goldmine for finding clients! Free to use, it’s a giant directory of professionals from all over the world and is constantly updated by the people in question.
With LinkedIn™, you play on all levers:
1/ Visibility: being found and seen by your targets through your optimized LinkedIn™ profile.
2/ Inbound marketing : attirer des prospects vers votre profil LinkedIn™.
- Demonstrate your know-how and skills through articles or publications;
- Show your expertise by adding value to publication comments.
3/ Outbound marketing: get in direct contact with your target customers.
- Contact members by sending them messages;
- Expand your network by connecting to other users;
- Filter and target your leads and prospects with search filters.
How do you find clients with LinkedIn™?
6 Steps to Finding Clients with LinkedIn™:
- Achieve the perfect LinkedIn™ profile that is complete and optimized. Opt for the Proinfluent® Profile that inspires trust and converts visitors into “buyers”.
- Target and add people who match your search filters ;
- Publish valuable content to show your expertise and engage your audience;
- Interact with your targets by responding to comments for example;
- Prospect by sending personalized messages to your target audience;
- Get bought! Depending on the maturity of the prospect, you can agree on a phone appointment for example.
The Proinfluent® Method for finding clients through the mastered power of LinkedIn™
Vous avez besoin d’aide pour trouver vos prochains clients avec LinkedIn™ ? Vous ne savez pas par où commencer et quoi faire ? Souhaitez-vous aller plus vite et plus loin avec l’utilisation du réseau social ?
If you want to know how to consistently find clients on LinkedIn™ in 30 minutes a day (and with a human approach), discover the Proinfluent® Method.
With the Proinfluent Method, you are able to :
- Sell for 5 years without spending money on advertising;
- Save the salary of 2 full-time salespeople by intelligently automating part of your prospecting;
- Be visible and noticed by your customers.
More than 90 leaders like you testify to the effectiveness of the Proinfluent® Method.
6. Create a website and take care of its referencing
In the digital age, having an online presence is a must! In btob, it is recommended to have a company page on LinkedIn™ as well as a neat website.
The Company Page on LinkedIn™
Creating a company page on LinkedIn™ allows you to promote your business on the professional social network. LinkedIn™ (let me remind you) is INCREDIBLE in BtoB. Even though you get the most results on LinkedIn™ from your personal profile, having a company page online is necessary for your company’s credibility.
Finding customers with your website requires more than just a clean, readable design. In fact, you have to optimize its natural referencing so that it appears in the first Google™ search results. This way, your prospects will quickly spot you among the competition. Natural referencing encompasses all the criteria that must be met, so that the Google™ robots place you in a good position.
Beware when starting a business, it’s better to invest your time and money on LinkedIn™ than on a website. Why? Because a website located on page 300 of Google™ will not bring you customers! Instead, put your money on LinkedIn™.
To create a successful website, it must :
- Be mobile-friendly. The navigation is as fluid and comfortable on computer as on smartphone;
- Have a link strategy (internal linking and backlinks);
- Contain optimized content (articles, white papers, videos, product sheets, etc.);
- Have an efficient on-page optimization;
- Load each page ultra quickly.
These are some of the criteria that allow you to obtain a well-referenced site and thus gain visibility on the Internet!
7. Promote your business with advertising
To find customers and make your business known quickly, advertising can be effective. The term advertising is extremely vast nevertheless, it always consists in paying to promote your brand via several supports. It is indeed an effective way to find new customers, provided you have a substantial budget and are familiar with the most effective advertising tools and methods.
Here are some effective forms of btob advertising:
- The paid referencing (SEA): it is about investing on one or more keywords, in order to appear in the sponsored ads of Google™, that is, in the first 3 results! If the natural referencing of your website does not yet allow you to gain visibility on the internet, the SEA is a godsend to find customers quickly and thus acquire some notoriety!
- Advertising on social networks: depending on your sector of activity, it is a formidable weapon to collect customers and prospects! It is a form of targeted advertising, which broadcasts your offer to qualified prospects. In fact, it is possible to advertise on LinkedIn™, thanks to LinkedIn Ads™.
- The e mailing: sending advertising emails to your clientele is a widespread practice in btob. Moreover, email allows you to maintain the link with the customer, build loyalty, inform them of your outlet’s news as well as special offers. It is one of the most profitable marketing advertising methods for b2b companies!
Remember that the best publicity to have is that of a satisfied customer who, through word of mouth, recommends your services to his friends and family! According to a study, 22% of the French population believes that a recommendation made by someone close to them is a reliable source for making a purchase. Thus, word-of-mouth remains the most coveted form of advertising for companies!
8. Posting articles on your blog
When you publish articles, you prove your expertise to your customers and you improve the referencing of your pages on the Internet. By providing tips, strategies and tricks, you demonstrate your expertise and establish yourself as a leader over your competitors.
Your articles can provide valuable information to your prospects, so they can quickly find the answer to their question. It can also help them become aware of their problem and how you can solve it.
In addition to introducing your business and your company to your prospects, writing optimized articles is an effective strategy to boost your website’s natural search engine optimization. For example, if you write an article on “the most effective btob prospecting methods” that meets all the Google™ criteria, your prospects will then find it on the first page of Google™ by typing in the keywords “effective prospecting methods”. An inbound marketing strategy that helps attract qualified prospects and therefore, find customers!
9. Collect and distribute customer reviews
Are your first few assignments successful and are your clients thrilled? Ask them to leave a review on your website, social media pages, LinkedIn™ profile or Google™ My Business listing!
Testimonials are elements of trust and are therefore necessary to reassure your prospects.
Put customer reviews and experiences in the forefront of your communication and advertising materials! Don’t forget that finding customers is easier when prospects are reassured about your skills and know-how. It is indeed a guarantee of trust that many btob decision makers rely on.
10. Prospecting the right way
Mastering the best practices of business prospecting is essential to find new clients. Freelancers and companies must be trained in order to understand the most effective methods.
Prospecting is the art of targeting and then canvassing prospects via different communication channels. To excel in this commercial activity, establishing a prospecting plan is therefore essential. It can be compared to a roadmap including the list of steps to follow to prospect effectively.
Voici quelques méthodes de prospection btob :
- Social selling: from targeting, to the first contact, to making an appointment, everything takes place on social networks.
- Telephone canvassing (phoning): this method requires a good script to be written beforehand. Thanks to your database, collect information on your prospects and identify their needs.
- Participation in trade shows: this is an excellent way to meet potential clients and to make your services known.
- Cold emailing: this involves sending an email to a prospect in order to break the ice and establish a first contact. The email must contain a call to action encouraging the reader to act (reply, visit your website, make an appointment…).
11. Prepare your professional meetings
When you get appointments with prospects, put all the chances on your side so that it ends on the signature of a contract. Thus, preparing your meeting in advance is essential to hope to find customers.
The first thing to do is to inform yourself about the customer’s business, identify his needs and expectations. The goal is to show him that you are there only to help him find a solution to his problem and that he can therefore trust you. Tell yourself that if the customer takes the time to receive you in an appointment, the least you can do is to take the time to understand precisely who you are dealing with!
Thus, try to know:
- The company’s turnover;
- Its size, its number of employees ;
- Its activity and its values;
- Its general state ;
- Its decision-makers;
- Its history.
In addition, to be ready on the day of the interview, prepare your communication materials (company presentation brochure, slide show, your business card) and review them several times so that you know the key data and figures.
Anticipate possible objections and prepare your arguments. It is recommended to be more at ease and not to run out of ideas!
It is therefore always advisable to locate the place in order to anticipate certain traffic disruptions and plan the quickest way to get there.
Find our 10 tips for a successful sales meeting here!
12. Train your sales and marketing teams
The methods and tools for targeting, prospecting and negotiating are constantly evolving. For example, door-to-door canvassing is nowadays not appreciated by prospects who prefer to chat online. In order to implement the most up-to-date and efficient methods, it is important to continuously train your sales and marketing teams.
This saves time and increases efficiency. Marketing automation, for example, allows you to automatically manage the most time-consuming and tedious tasks. Moreover, the customer approach is also changing. Prospects now prefer to inquire by themselves rather than being directly taken by a salesperson.
Would you like to be accompanied by an expert? Make an appointment directly in the agenda below with a Proinfluent consultant manager who will make a free (and without obligation) audit of your business situation.
Find clients to conclude
- Carry out a market study to understand the general state of the targeted sector of activity, the buying motivations of the customers, know the competition and its methods…
- Identify your buyer persona to determine precisely what solution to bring him, how and by what means to reach him.
- Define your graphic charter (logo, colors, typography…) with care to help your customers recognize you.
- Be active on social networks and animate your community.
- Leverage LinkedIn™ to find clients consistently and with certainty!
- Create a website and work on your referencing. It is your professional showcase that contains your achievements, your prices, your services … Thanks to the natural referencing, you gain in visibility on the search engines.
- Use advertising to promote your business. Paid search and LinkedIn™ Ads are great ways to gain visibility on the internet quickly.
- Publishing blog posts allows you to demonstrate your expertise, provide value-added information to your prospects and establish yourself as a leader to follow.
- Broadcasting customer reviews, testimonials and experiences is a good way to inspire confidence and reassure your future customers.
- Knowing how to prospect is essential to find customers. Emailing, phone calling and social selling are common methods of prospecting in B2B.
- Preparing your professional meetings in advance allows you to be more comfortable and more efficient. Anticipate objections, think about arguments, learn about the company and its decision-makers, for example.
- Training your sales and marketing teams on new tools and methods allows you to gain in efficiency and time.
Find customers to summarize in 5 questions
How to attract customers?
There are several methods to attract customers (inbound marketing):
- Take care of your website’s SEO;
- Publish articles on your blog to demonstrate your expertise;
- Optimize your LinkedIn™ profile and thus establish a presence strategy;
- Have a presence on social media to interact with prospects.
How to find customers for free?
If you don’t want to rely on paid advertising to find customers, consider several marketing strategies:
- Work on the natural referencing of your website ;
- Set up a strategy for a presence on social networks and more particularly LinkedIn™ ;
- Be active on the internet by regularly publishing content of all kinds (forums, articles, video, podcast…) ;
- Register on platforms dedicated to freelancers.
Where to find customers?
It is possible to find customers in several physical or digital places. It depends on your activity and your target. In btob, you generally find your customers :
- From social networks and especially LinkedIn™ (the professional network);
- From the internet (website, advertisements…);
- At seminars and trade shows;
- Via Google™ searches.
How to find customers on the internet?
To find customers on the internet:
- Think about an effective presence strategy and try to gain some notoriety in your business.
- Create a website and be present on social networks.
- Work on the referencing of your digital supports.
- Set up effective sales tunnels (e.g. Facebook™ advertising + strategic sessions offered + email sequence).
- Promote your brand on the internet through advertising.
Auto entrepreneur : how to find your first customers ?
As a freelancer, self-contractor and independent worker, there are several ways to find your first clients:
- Communicate your activity to your physical and digital entourage. The first projects are often done for friends and family, it’s also a good way to get work to add to your portfolio.
- Contact freelancers in your field of activity to ask them for advice, but also to seize an opportunity. Some freelancers are indeed so overloaded that they refuse some missions. So this is an effective method to find your first clients.
- Create an optimized profile on LinkedIn™ and publish content to get yourself known (if your clients are on LinkedIn™).
- Offer your services on freelance platforms (Malt, LinkedIn™ Market place…).
- Putting in place a real digital presence strategy is also great for getting your name out to potential clients. Creating a website, publishing optimized blog posts and being present on social networks like LinkedIn™ are for example, powerful presence strategies.