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The Three Stages Of B2B Client Acquisition

Updated: Sep 9

So many consultants only get their business clients via word of mouth or referral.


Sizeable business contracts coming to you via a warm introduction is ideal, right?


But of course, this is limiting because you rely on the jobs coming to you.


You have almost no control over when this will happen.


Other consultants get inbound leads via SEO, paid ads, or content marketing but find that the business decision maker is just not reaching out to them.


This is because those decision makers are not necessarily googling for a solution or trawling through blogs or social content online.


Executives and heads of departments tend not to be hanging out in Facebook groups.


These ladies and gents are just not accessible via inbound methods like the average consumer.


For B2B, more than any other demographic, proactive cold outreach to a decision maker via LinkedIn and/or email is the MOST predictable form of client generation.


And too many consultants and business owners are NOT doing cold outreach AT ALL.


Or they have done cold outreach for a bit, found it didn't work, and then just gave up.


Here is a quick overview of the three stages of B2B client generation that work with predictability:


  1. Optimize

  2. Engage

  3. Convert


The first stage is OPTIMIZE.


This means knowing who you are targeting in terms of:

  • the size of the company,

  • the number of staff,

  • the annual turnover,

  • the industry,

  • the department within the company,

  • the decision maker's title or role,

  • the geography of the company

  • its stage of development [start up, seed funding, merger, sale, etc.]


Once you have optimized what type of company you can help and who the decision maker is you have to optimize the message you use to connect cold with new clients.


This message must address their challenge or need for cold outreach and refer to their goal or desire.


You can’t talk about what you do - but about the RESULTS you can help create.


Of course, it’s impossible to know with 100% accuracy via cold outreach which company is facing a specific need or challenge at any particular moment. Still, some research with your optimization and niche targeting can help greatly here.


The second stage is ENGAGE :


This means setting up and sending outreach messages to the lists of decision makers you have found via LinkedIn and email.


Engagement messaging is not selling - you are talking about results you create to gauge interest and open a conversation.


With a good engagement strategy, you should get a higher than average % of people responding to your cold outreach to learn a bit more, and this is where the sales conversations start.


And if you engage across LinkedIn and Email, you have double the chance of reaching a decision maker and opening the door to a conversation.



The third stage is CONVERT.


At this point, you regularly have outreach messages to your ideal client decision-maker via email and LinkedIn.


To pour fuel on the fire, you can automate much of this process through a few good LinkedIn and email automation tools.


This means you can send more messages to more people and book more appointments with regularity.


More conversations mean a fuller pipeline of business, a handful of relationships you can nurture and develop to the point of proposal or business contract.


A strong follow-up and lead nurture process are necessary for all leads in your pipeline, so tracking and measuring your pipeline's value and regularly touching base with leads is essential.


This way, you turn cold leads into warm leads and warm leads into hot leads. Finally, hot leads turn into business clients.


To put this into context:


The average consultant charges a day rate of $500 - $1500 [and often more].


This means that projects of several weeks quickly become $5k - $15k, and monthly retainers can turn into $10 - $100k annual contracts.


Therefore, just converting ONE MORE project each month is worth more than $50k per year, and one more retainer per month can quickly become $100k - $1m per year more.


Most consultants can easily pass work to associates or grow their team on demand - bringing in the paying clients is the challenge.


Do you see how a cold outbound lead generation system on LinkedIn and email is a no-brainer?


If you are interested in consistently generating high-value leads using LinkedIn and cold email, simply send me a DM. We'll chat quickly to see if the program is a good fit for you and your business. If so, we can start right away!



The Three Stages Of B2B Client Acquisition
Jen Bishop consulting and marketing lead generation and marketing strategy social media London, UK

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