business negotiation

Strategies for attracting clients are all over the internet. It can be confusing to know where to start. If you’re a rock star at what you do, but you know you need to promote your small business more, you don’t want to come off pushy. Here are some tips to get your name out there inspired by the characters on the 90’s hit TV show Friends.

1. Build relationships like Joey Tribbiani

The character Joey on Friends was known for saying, “How you doin’?” Though it might have been his way to flirt with women, he kept the focus on the other person. Though you don’t want to be flirty when you are meeting people you potentially want to do business with, everyone likes attention.

Get better at small talk. An article by Business Insider, emphasizes the importance of showing interest in the person you’re conversing with and allowing them to share information about themselves.

When you meet someone at a conference or other networking event, be sure to keep the focus on them. Ask the person you meet questions about themselves. Try to stick with open-ended questions, so you don’t sound too nosy.

If you’re not sure what to say, the article suggests studying excellent conversationalists such as comedians and TV hosts to get ideas for questions to ask.

Taryn Scher of TK Public Relations echoes the importance of putting others first when building relationships and says, “You should always think long term.” Scher adds that you want to avoid the temptation of pushing too hard to land a customer today. She suggests thinking further down the road when trying to get a new client.

She goes on to say that people have to get to know you. Relationships might take awhile to develop. She adds that things “may not come to fruition for three months- or  even three years from now.”

2. Show what you know like Ross Geller

The character Ross on Friends was a nerdy paleontologist. While his credentials alone were impressive, he worked as a professor. He taught to show his expertise. Instead of shoving your business card in someone’s face, show off your smarts like Ross from Friends through teaching.

Though you don’t want to be a total know-it-all like his character, demonstrate what you know by directly answering people’s questions or focus on teaching them something about a common pain point they struggle with and give them tips to fix it.

If someone wants to know how to pitch the media for a better public relations strategy or learn how to invoice to get paid faster, let that be your focus.

business metrics presentation

3. Focus on uniqueness like Phoebe Buffay

There’s an episode of Friends where the character Rachel freaks out. She notices that Ross bought the same apothecary table that she just purchased from a popular furniture chain store. She told her roommate Phoebe that theirs was an original. She feared Phoebe would find out about the lie if she ever saw Ross’ table.

Rachel convinces Ross to cover up the table so she won’t find out. Phoebe hated mass-produced furniture because everyone would end up with the same furniture. She only liked things that were one of a kind.  She would get angry at Rachel if she found out.

Uniqueness matters to Phoebe, and it matters to your target market. Even if you offer the same services or similar products to others, come up with a unique selling proposition to showcase them.

Entrepreneur.com explains how understanding the customer’s viewpoint is essential. Also, finding out what motivates your customers’ behavior and buying decisions is critical. Discovering why they purchase your products over your competitors can help you keep a competitive edge.

The Bottom Line

Keep these strategies in mind when you’re looking to attract clients.  Providing this type of value now can pay off down the road. Find indirect ways to appeal to your market. Instead of coming off like a pushy salesperson, people will view you as more of a friend.

 


Karen is a Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Writer who sharpens her skills at US News Money. You can also find her placing clients on podcasts and reading about home office organization, productivity and habits.

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