You can break down getting new business to a few simple principles:
- Recognize where past business has come from and mine those fields. If your main source of business is referrals from other people, who are those people? Are you rewarding them for their good behavior or taking them for granted? Are you making sure they have incentive to continue referring? Be sure to pay a referral fee and express gratitude each and every time, even if they refer someone to you every day.
- Consistent and intentional marketing is key. Determine the number of marketing events (meals, coffees, drinks, networking events) you are committed to attending each week and calendar them. Make sure those events will yield direct or indirect new business. Action for the sake of checking a box is not what I'm talking about here: you must be intentional in pre-determining who you are going to sit in front of and be absolutely sure they are going to (in some way) get you closer to your goals.
- Meet with the right people. Meet with your ideal potential clients and those who serve your ideal potential clients. Anything else you can classify as "social." You have plenty of time for social meetings if you have plenty of cash flow, stashed cash and future cash coming. If you don't, schedule social time for outside of work hours.
- Make the ask. You have to a-s-k to g-e-t. If you sit in front of someone and don't at least ask if they are interested, you've lost a golden opportunity. They may say no, which is great! For every no, you're closer to a yes. (Note: Read the book Go for No! as soon as possible. It will change how you feel about "no" and help you achieve your goals even faster.)
- Have enough hooks in the water. If you're relying on one or two potential "yes's" to make your week, month or year, your chances of failure are high. If you need two "yes's", get in front of, present to and ask as many potential target clients as you can for their business. With enough potential business on the horizon, you have a much higher chance of meeting and even exceeding your projections and goals.
- The right actions will yield the right results, even if you experience a big of "lag time" in the process. In other words, you will not experience momentum for a bit of time after you commit to taking action and follow through on taking action. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Right actions will eventually yield right results. The worst thing that could happen is you end up with too much business. That's a problem everyone loves to have.
- Stop doing what's not working. This includes time-wasters like surfing the internet, updating your Facebook status or whatever else is causing you to find yourself at the end of the day feeling like you haven't made progress. Notice what's not working and change your actions until you figure out what works. Then do that as often as you possibly can.