Anchor clients are the businesses who drive a significant portion of your revenue. They are profitable and regular sources of income. Having a few great anchors mean you’ll spend less time chasing new business. Plus, they can refer to even more awesome anchors.
Here’s how good practitioners find their anchor clients.
Landing the Right Anchor Clients
Anchor clients don't usually just fall in your lap. Landing the right anchor requires a long-view of the relationship. It isn't about finding a client who may be great for the next six months, then disappears. It's about finding long-term partners. To build those partnerships, great practitioners excel at three strategies. Here's their playbook:
1. Target your niche
Take the time to define who your ideal client would be. What industry are they in? What size business? What attitude towards technology and innovation do they have? What business needs do they have?
Next, define your unique value proposition for your ideal client. What can you offer that sets you apart from competitors? Then proactively target your marketing and sales to that proposition.
2. Take risks to provide outstanding service
Landing a great long-term client is all about building a deep relationship. To do that, the best practitioners make sacrifices early on. They wow new clients by spending as much time and effort as necessary. They focus on demonstrating the value they can bring. The bottom-line is, an up-front investment in your clients will pay off in the long-run.
To ensure you deliver outstanding service, you need to first set clear expectations. Then exceed them. Transitioning to value-based pricing can make this easier. It will give you more time flexibility. Which you can use to drill deep on your clients’ business issues. Go beyond the financial reports to provide strategic solutions to the big issues.
And look for ways to innovate when it comes to service. Unearth the inefficiencies in your clients’ businesses. Introduce them to technology that will remove blockages in their workflow. Think about offering a suite of cloud-based apps like TSheets, Bill.com and Hubdoc. The right tech will streamline your clients’ bill paying, payroll and document management processes. A great way to save them time and money.
3. Leverage your great relationships to land more anchor clients
Turn one good anchor client into many by developing a system for obtaining introductions. Set monthly referral targets and develop a strategy for hitting those goals. For instance, you may hold regular client appreciation lunches or talks. Ask each client to bring two people from their network to the event. People who would benefit from your services. Track how many of those introductions turn into clients. And make adjustments to your system as you go.
Great anchor clients are the foundation of a growing business. Landing them means identifying the types of businesses you want to work with. And then go the extra mile to build strong relationships. Leverage those partnerships by asking for introductions. You'll turn your anchors into a steady stream of new ideal clients.