11 Frugal Ways to Land a Client

by Linsey Knerl on 9 April 2014 (0 comments)

Sponsored by Skype — Use Skype Credit to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.

You’re probably familiar with one of the oldest terms in business, or the ABCs of sales: “Always Be Closing.” This phrase would almost be cliché if it wasn’t true; a thriving business needs to keep prospects throughout all phases of the sales cycle, with special emphasis on getting a signed contract. 

The glossy business mags say that the key to closing a sale depends on wining and dining, often at a cost that’s greater than what you can afford. Today’s savvy small business pro can do deals on the cheap, however, and we have almost a dozen budget-friendly strategies for getting the job done.

Share the celebrations

When our 6th son was born, a local bank sent me a laminated cut-out of the baby’s newspaper birth announcement, along with a card and a special offer to open a new account. It was one of the few cards we received, so it stuck out. You can do the same for your prospects by making notes of wedding news, promotion announcements, or awards, and sending them along with a personalized card of recognition and an invitation to do business. (LinkedIn can be a wealth of information for finding out about these milestones.)

Do Coffee

Pricey dinners may not be in the budget, but a cup of joe is. If the thought of meeting in a crowded Starbucks seems impersonal, set up a meeting at a gourmet cupcake shoppe or an outdoor bistro with beignets on the menu.

Offer an Actual Freebie

“30 minute free consultations” are popular for service providers, but they may not actually give value to a prospective client. Keep tabs on your precious time and wow potential clients by letting them ask a single question via email – no strings attached. If they like what you have to say, a contract is closer to reality.

Use the Power of Public Speaking

Most conferences require that their speakers use the presentation time to educate, not solicit; this doesn’t mean that you can’t sell from the stage, however. Amaze the crowd with your knowledge of the subject matter and personable delivery. Remember that a good presentation offers solutions to real problems, as well as reminds the audience that there will be other issues you are ready to help them solve. By the end, potential clients will be coming up to YOU and wanting to know how you can work together. 

Build Relationships With Skype Credit

Just meeting potential clients isn’t enough if you don’t call them to follow up. You should also schedule time to call current clients to see if they’re happy with your service, as well as old clients to see if there’s anything new you can do for them. As long as your calls are helpful and sincere, your clients will love the attention. You can use Skype Credit to call mobiles and landlines all over the world at extremely cost-effective rates.

Reinvent the “Free Lunch” Fishbowl

Offer a fresh take on this tired tactic by giving prospects a chance to win a prize when they sign up for your email list and ask one question related to how you can help them. You’ll get their contact info AND insight into how to address their specific needs. (Prize winners often feel obligated to at least accept your cold calls.)

Attend Conferences No One Else (But Your Client) Does

If you are a roofer, attending a conference with a thousand other roofers likely won’t get you new business. If you attend a conference with a thousand building managers, however, that is a different story. It takes research to find out where your best customers will gather, but it’s worth it. Use sites like Eventbrite to track industry events around the country and meet future clients where they gather!

Offer Referral Bonuses

This very traditional tactic still works! Let your existing clients know that any new business they send to you will be rewarded with a discount (usually 5-15%) and keep reminding them of this fact on every invoice you send. Offer bonuses for everyone – not just clients – by putting a referral “code” on business cards.

Speak in “ROI”

It can be difficult to assign a monetary value to using your products or services, but it can be done. Look at others in your industry to see what case studies they offer on past successes with clients. Can you do the same? If so, build a projection of the value you can offer to a potential client, and don’t be afraid to throw it out as a possibility. Seeing the value is often all a prospect needs to move forward.


Sometimes, all a prospect needs to become a client is to be asked. The old “what can I do to get a signed contract from you today?” trick actually works. Maybe they simply need some reassuring, a small process change on your part, or a little more information. If you can deliver that final puzzle piece, business can happen!

Offer (almost) 24/7 availability

Do you know what really impresses a client? Being there. If you can’t always be around, at least give the appearance of it by having a wide variety of ways for a potential client to reach you. Text, email, phone and social media are the bare minimum methods of seamless communication. (Can’t be by your desk? Forwarding calls from your Skype account to your mobile or landline lets clients get to you anywhere, with just one number. There’s no charge to the caller this feature.)

Sponsored by Skype — Use Skype Credit to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.

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