I talked in a previous article ( https://razvanlaichici.com/2020/02/26/how-would-you-start-from-nothing-if-one-day-youll-lose-everything/ ) about a very useful exercise: The worst-case scenario method for your business. Well, that method wasn’t purely theoretical for me; I experienced it firsthand and it was a revelation to realize that regardless of how down one was, there’s always a way to get out of the woods.
When I started to get back on my feet, I had a very hard time resuming the search for new clients. Yet, helped by a strategy that featured a few key points, in 2013-2014 I started to contact my first few new clients, explaining to them the systematization process, and offering my services to help set up their own system, catered to their specific business needs.
Even though I didn’t have employees, I only had an 11 sq m office with one mattress in it, no functional website to speak of, no community, no email list, podcast, or youtube channel, not even an active Twitter account, I still managed to obtain all the business meetings I aimed for, by applying a strategy that brought me results.
What did I do at first to attract these clients and how did I deliver what I considered to be of use to them?
1. I searched for 10 companies, analyzed them, understood their business model and audience, after which I found out who the people in charge were.
2. Afterwards, I researched their lives to understand what they liked, what sort of people they were, what was relevant to them, and what they wanted out of life. Each one I contacted agreed to meet with me. I believe I managed to get these face-to-face meetings because I had a good idea of who I was talking with and knew their business.
3. I analyzed what opportunities they had within their market segment and readied an implementation model for the systems that I had created.
4. I set up a meeting beforehand, visited their companies, and during talks I gave them 2-3 ideas that I’d consider useful for their business.
5. Once the meeting went ahead, I made it a point to only listen to them – at first. I let them explain their business, their story, and how they managed to create that business.
6. In the last 10 minutes, I offered them a solution that I would consider valuable to them; one that would help them and I could provide.
7. I would sketch them a small plan of action that would encompass the most important and useful changes they could make.
Two months later, I had the contracts signed and the money to finance those projects.
Thanks to my online marketing knowledge, this part wasn’t too difficult, but I knew a standard approach wouldn’t cut it. I knew that I couldn’t do online marketing the way I did in 2008 with my first clients – when Webness was the first Internet Marketing agency in western Romania (that’s how we promoted ourselves back then).
After approaching the clients and ‘winning the projects’, came the part where I had to deliver and scale my product, a Marketing Framework that today I call EMF – Experiential Marketing Framework – which actually denotes the representation of the logical flow of the marketing plan.
Yes, I’ll admit it – in my businesses I wasn’t a particularly great entrepreneur, I was, however, a fierce salesman and marketer.
Many people try to find the perfect formula to start off with; everybody wants to be someone. We all, however, have a unique value we can bring to the table.
We don’t have to look like a ‘successful business’ in order to strike deals with potential business partners. Behind every company, there are people.
You are much more valuable than you think you are, and oftentimes you’ll need to make choices. Filter those choices through the prism of the significance you find in what you do and through the prism of time. Time is precious and truly the most important resource you have at your disposal. You’ll have to look in the mirror and find the answers to those questions that eat away at you, and then walk towards that which you feel inside yourself.
Never give up! Never believe, even if you’ve failed multiple times, that you’re a failure!
The life of an entrepreneur, and in general that of a businessman isn’t easy, but if you believe in your product, know that it represents you and is useful to people, you too should apply my strategy for efficiently approaching your new clients. Ultimately, behind every successful strategy, there lies the determination and constant hard work of those that tested it.