Get More Clients: Just 3 Simple Ingredients

by Tim Francis on December 21, 2012

I often face the question – for myself and clients – how do we get more clients rollin in the door?

It’s not always easy per se, but it’s definitely simple

Answer to All “I Want More Clients” Questions

Here’s the real basic answer:

1. Find streams of potentially-interested people

2. Put something attractive in front of them

3. Keep a keen eye on your finances, doing all of this without going bankrupt, eventually making good money

This is neatly packaged by Jack Born and Perry Marshall in a diagram they call the “Tactical Triangle”.  Here it is:


Below is a discussion of the triangle, peppered with my own comments and a few client examples too…


C = Conversions = bumping people to the next step of buying.  There are multiple conversion points before any sale is made:

  • Converting strangers into visitors (to our website, showsuite, etc)
  • Converting visitors into prospects
  • Converting prospects into clients
  • Converting clients into repeat buyers
  • Converting clients into referral machines

…conversion pieces are usually sales materials, presentations, ads, or anything of the sort.  For example, a website, sales letter, or sales meeting.  Those are all conversion points.


T = Traffic = the people that are exposed to our conversion pieces.  A website does nothing for your business if no one sees it.  A salesperson makes zero sales if there’s no one to sell to.  You need traffic at every sales stage to make a sale.  For example, 100 website visitors… who eventually become 10 inquiries, become 3 sales meetings, become one sale.  Examples of traffic sources include:

  • SEM / Google Adwords (one of my favourite)
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Magazine Ads
  • Publicity through mass media
  • Public Speaking
  • Yellow Pages

…traffic sources can differ wildly in cost, and vary wildly in effectiveness too.  Some can bring you tons of leads, but others very few.  Some will bring you high quality leads, and others very poor.  Ultimately you need to have enough people at the top of your sales funnel to have enough people at the bottom (purchasing).


E = Economics = the balance of expenses and revenues.  You need to sustainably bring in customers.  A few “a-ha” factors to consider:

  1. The only way you’ll ever get Money under control is if you track your traffic channels, conversion pieces, sales, and expenses too.

    Track where customers are coming from (what traffic sources), and also how many people are at each stage of your sales funnel (visitor / prospect / client / etc.).

    And finally tracking two of the most important metrics in your entire business: Cost Per Lead (CPL) and Cost Per Sale (CPS).  The latter – CPS – is the most important.

    If you figure out, for example, that you’re spending $55 in advertising to “buy” each new customer, factor in your cost to deliver your product / service, now you can mathematically figure out what advertising channels work for you, and which are sucking blood from your business, literally leaving you worse off had you never advertised in the first place.

  2. The goal is not “get clients as cheaply as possible”.

    Make no mistake, the more inexpensively you get clients, the more profit you make.  That’s crystal clear for you, me, and anyone who has stayed in business.But the least expensive customers are often too fewto achieve your growth goals.  The cheap leads dry up, and sooner or later you need to go find more…. which could get more expensive.Believe it or not, that’s actually a good thing: if you figure out how to be profitable on more expensive clients (and – yes – there are ways), then your profit margins only grow across all customer sources.

    Also gives you protection and security; if you know how to be profitable on more expensive clients, you aren’t hanging on by a thread to a single customer source you can afford.  You’ve got flexibility and buying power to get more clients whenever you want them.

  1. The goal is not “spend a little as possible on acquiring customers”.

    There’s a reason that nearly every TV infomercial for skin care is owned by mega-giant Guthy-Renker (think Pro-Activ skin care).

    They have built their business – and their bank account – so large that they can actually go negative   longer than their competitors.

    They have such a solid back-end model where they make money on a 2nd, 3rd, 4th sale that they don’t need to make money up-front on the first sale.

    In fact, they can lose money and stay negative for months and months on end, slowly clawing back month after month as the back-end purchases kick-in.

    When they can go 6 months in the red, and still make $20MM (or whatever) by the end of 12 months, two powerful things happen: 1) competitors can’t even enter the market to challenge them; 2) they rake in crazy annual profits despite up-front losses.

    Maybe that seems overwhelming or impossible, but just keep this in mind: it forces you into becoming a better money-maker.  Implement small strategies (e.g. up-sells, in-house promotions to past customers, introducing more expensive packages), and you’ll be shocked to see that there’s more money to be made in the back-end than you thought possible.  And more easily too.
    If your business model is that strong, then you get to make good cash, and few – if any – competitors can touch you.

I encourage you to keep reading the rest of this article.

Once you’ve finished reading this post, check out this real-life marketing story: My Blood is Boiling, Apparently 12,400% ROI Isn’t Enough.

(but finish this blog post first – you’ll be glad you did.  onwards….)

80/20 Rule Exists in All Parts of Marketing

In the above diagram, you’ll see that there’s an “80/20” in the middle of the triangle.

That’s because the 80/20 Rule touches all 3 parts of the triangle: traffic, conversions, and economics.

Example of 80/20 Rule in Marketing

You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 Rule before.  It says that 80% of results come from only 20% of customers, products, employees, etc… just a few factors are responsible for making a big difference, while everything else is inconsequential.

For example, you’ve probably heard that 5% of people control 95% of the wealth… that’s a more extreme situation of the 80/20 Rule at work.

Here’s a marketing example of the 80/20 Rule in action….

Imagine you wanted to make an extra $10,000 in sales.  I can promise you it would not come from making a $10 sale to 1,000 prospects.

Play along with me here…

Let’s say you send a promo (email / snail mail / whatever) to 1,000 people.  You offer three packages, the Silver package at $99, the Gold package at $999, and the Platinum package at $2,499

In the real world, your $10,000 in new sales would break down this way:

  • 1 customer buys your $2,499 package
  • 4 or 5 buy your $999 package
  • 20 or 30 buy your $99 package
  • the other 950 prospects buy nothing.

Client Case Study: $1,000 in Sales, as Fast as Possible

This exact phenomena played out with a fitness gym I helped.  They decided to do a promo to their existing email list.  Their goal was simple: generate $1,000 in sales as fast as possible.

(Given their situation, they actually didn’t want more than $1,000 in sales… they absolutely had to limit response.)

Their 1,300-person list is comprised of everyone who has ever shown interest in their gym.  This includes a huge range of people, from distant bystanders (opted-in to the gym’s online offer, but never been to gym) to hardcore, die-hard believers (been working out there 4x/week for nearly two years).

Here’s how it played out:

  • 1,300 recipients of email promo – offering a variety of packages from $250 to $1,000
  • around 150 – 200 are current and past clients (people that went beyond the trial offer)
  • 6 inquiries immediately
  • 3 buyers immediately
    • 2 buyers at $250
    • then 1 buyer at $1,000

Total sales of $1,450 in under 12 hours

Mission Accomplished.

80/20 in “Traffic”

If you were to analyze where your customers were coming from, you would probably discover that just a few traffic sources (website SEO / referrals / media / etc).

That’s valuable.  I think what’s equally valuable is to stop the bleeding…. figure out what 20% of sources are costing you an arm and a leg, and are bringing you nothing.

You can quickly discover the champs and the chumps by simply tracking what’s already going on.

Find those vampires sucking cashflow from your neck and make a quick decision: do you tweak them, or do you ditch them?  A careful consideration of the three ingredients, Traffic, Conversions, and Economics will reveal the answer to you.

(Despite my strong warnings against it, a client once dumped $20K into mass media ads.  It brought a few people to our site.  Then we moved to a much more targeted medium – Google Adwords – and we started seeing tons of traffic.)

80/20 in “Conversions”

Some of your ads and promos are rockstars, others are total duds.

And sometimes it doesn’t take much to change from zero to hero.  I once helped a Real Estate investor with an email broadcast to her database of potential investors.  I picked a crappy subject line (my fault)  to begin with: “How to Stand Up for Yourself, Part 1”.  Looking back, what a bad idea…. shame on me!

It got a 21% open rate, which was low compared to her past results (we had been tracking open rates).

So I re-tooled just the subject line… nothing else.  The subject line got changed to: “I had to get a court order to seize rents”.  Waaaay more punchy, emotional, and attention-grabbing.

Open rates more than doubled to 43%.  And all we changed was the subject line!

That’s an example of 80/20 in conversions… that some headlines, some promos really convert a ton of people to the next step.  Find the winners.

Again, tracking is crucial here.  But so is something else – split-testing.  Running different ads, packages, etc – and tracking the results of each … then keeping the winners, and cancelling the losers.

You can see that over time if you continue to test and track the conversions of each new promo, you are slowly (but surely) building ads that are stronger, stronger, stronger, bringing you more and more clients each time.


80/20 in Economics

This comes big time down to tracking Cost Per Lead (CPL) and Cost Per Sale (CPS).   In other words, CPL establishes how much it costs to get a new potential client in the door.  Then – and this is one of the most important metrics in your entire business – CPS measures how much it costs to get a new customer SOLD.

I was hired to do lead generation for a client (can’t reveal industry due to competitive reasons – sorry).  I started tracking how well their transit ads were doing.  I established a Cost Per Lead.

I suggested that we try some lead gen through an online method.  We established the Cost Per Lead in that area too.

I compared the two.  Turns out that the new online method had a CPL that was 95% less expensive.

I was shocked.  They were shocked.  We had just discovered a HUGE 80/20 in his business…. nice :)

Final Note on 80/20

So those are all examples of the 80/20 Rule at play.  It reveals that 80% (or more) of results come from 20% (or less) of efforts, people, projects, etc.  It’s true in all areas of life too:

  • 80% of profits come from 20% of customers
  • 80% of headaches come from 20% of staff
  • 80% of your time is spent in 20% of the rooms in your house
  • 80% of your happiness comes from 20% of the people you spend time with

…and this skew can be even more dramatic: 90/10, 95/5, or 99/1.

…and – for the inquiring minds out there – it’s not necessary for the two numbers to equal 100.  You could have 90/20, or 90/5.

Aw Shucks!  Ain’t that Grand….

I know this sounds folksy and oversimplified.

It is.

Certainly each of these 3 steps can go infinitely deep.

For example, to find streams of interested people, there’s 1,001 possibilities:

  • Google Adwords
  • Booth at Tradeshows
  • Magazine advertising
  • Facebook ads
  • website & SEO
  • Press Releases to get Publicity
  • Yellow Pages
  • Public Speaking
  • Writing Articles for online and offline media
  • etc, etc, etc…..

And for making an attractive offer, there’s so many factors to consider:

  • how to write a good ad
  • how to make it look good
  • how to build an offer
  • how to win prospects’ trust
  • how to sell effectively
  • etc, etc, etc….

How To Choose?

In your market, there are proven pathways to more clients.

Maybe that’s buying a booth at a specific trade show.

Maybe that’s taking out ads in a specific magazine.

Maybe that’s a direct mail piece to a specific list of people.

Maybe it’s running a Google Adwords campaign (I’m a big fan for many reasons).

Maybe it’s sending out Press Releases to get publicity.

I probably don’t know what that is in your specific market.

But there’s someone who does…

Click here to read more about this powerful leader who holds the answers to your marketing questions.  Hint: it’s not me, nor is it any single person!

Hope that helps,

Tim :)

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