An extract from my second book, Power Climb: Growing Your Small Business which was published in 2012.
When it comes to new business there’s a common mistake people can fall into – not being specific in what they are looking for.
People may think that their potential client base is wide and while it may be, if people aren’t able to focus on an area to look out for then they are likely to miss potential opportunities to refer you. Potential clients may also think that you do not deal with them either.
A good way to remember this is ‘if you ask for anyone and say you can do anything, what you will actually end up with is no one and nothing!’
It’s something I’ve experienced myself – specialising in helping self-employed people in Surrey – so people instantly know who we help and where we give a face to face service. Interestingly, I do get people asking for other services that I don’t offer – but with an extensive network of connections I can usually recommend someone suitable to help them.
I also had a great example of how powerful being specific is, when I attended a European networking conference in Glasgow. Several of the presenters asked for specific referrals at the end of their presentations. Despite being 400 miles away from home, I was able to connect three of them to people I know.
Had they just said what they do in general terms, and not been very specific, then they wouldn’t have achieved the results.
When you are thinking about bringing in more business, you could find that narrowing your focus and being specific actually brings in more business, not less as some people fear.