Struggling to find clients for your business? Or maybe you’re just starting out and don’t know where to look to boost your client list?
You’re not alone. Finding clients is one of the biggest challenges for business owners, and with around 3 out of 4 NatHERS assessors being self-employed, that makes it an issue almost every assessor is grappling with.
But with some planning and dedicated networking, you CAN create a steady stream of clients for your business.
In this article, we take you through the essential steps you need to win more clients and give your business the best chance at success.
Let’s dive in:
- Know your audience
The first and most important step is to know your clients. That means taking the time to understand their motivations and pain points. Only by understanding what’s important to your clients can you start to offer a service that they will come back for over and over again.
Whether you work closely with owner builders, architects, building designers, or developers, the chances are your clients will be time poor and might not understand the true value of what you’re offering, other than knowing that it’s a box they need to tick.
In fact, in our recent survey, more than half (54%) of NatHERS assessors said that their clients do not see the value of improving thermal performance – they simply want the quickest, cheapest and easiest minimum compliant solution.
This means, to build client relationships, you need to make it easy for them to understand the true value of your service, and focus on delivering the things that are most important to them, such as speed.
- Build your network
The more people you know, the more potential clients you have. That means you need to build your network.
- Attend online and in-person events – a little old-school networking can go a long way. The goal is to make yourself a known part of the local business community. Get to know your fellow business owners and potential clients. Check out networking and industry events in your area, as well as relevant online events.
- Join networking groups on social media – like the Thermal Performance Assessment Facebook Group.
- Talk to people – Share content on social media, comment on other people’s posts, start conversations and provide value to the community.
- Tell everyone what you do – even if they aren’t in the industry, make sure your friends, family and old colleagues know about your business. You never know where your next lead might come from.
- Ask for referrals
One of the most effective ways of attracting new clients is by leveraging the influence of your existing clients.
Word-of-mouth referrals act as a personal recommendation of your work, which gives new clients a sense of confidence and trust in your business.
How can you earn referrals?
First things first, you need to give the client a reason to refer you – that means delivering an exceptional experience. Nobody is going to recommend a business they’ve had a bad experience with.
The easiest way to encourage word-of-mouth referrals is to just ask. When you know you have a happy client, ask them to tell others about you.
Try one of these prompts:
“Do you know of any other builders/designers who could benefit from my services?”
“I’m so glad you’re happy with the work we did on your project. I would appreciate it if you would share my name with any of your contacts who may be interested.”
Also, ask for a written testimonial you can use on your website and in your project proposals. Make it easy for them to write a positive review about you. For example, you could send them an email with a link to your preferred review system, such as Google or Trustpilot.
Another way to get referrals is to give referrals. Those who make the effort to connect with others for business opportunities are the ones who are referred the most.
- Form strategic alliances
These are relationships where two businesses work closely together and you cross-refer clients between yourselves.
This works best when you align with those who already work with your ideal client,
but not in a way that overlaps with what you offer. You want to be complementary to each other, but not directly competing. This is the sweet spot.
If there’s a business you want to partner with, instead of doing a cold outreach, try to find a common contact between you and the company and ask for a warm introduction.
- Bid on projects
While not the most exciting part of running your own business, tender writing for projects is an important skill.
If you can refine your tender writing skills, you can quickly upgrade from one-off jobs to landing large and consistent contracts.
- Turn one-off clients into regular clients
Instead of searching for new clients, put your efforts into nurturing your current clients into repeat clients.
People want to save time, so if a client likes the work you do, they’d much rather work with you than go through the whole process of finding a new assessor they trust.
This means you need to excel at the basics. Make it easy to do business with you, and clients will keep coming back. Make your communication clear and prompt, deliver reports on time, and be transparent with pricing.
Now you know how to get clients – but do you know how to price your services?
Check out our article on how to raise your prices.
It takes a lot of know-how to run a profitable thermal performance assessment business. Don’t worry if you don’t know everything just yet – that’s where our courses and resources can help. At Transformed, we offer a huge range of business courses to help you get ahead.