Entrepreneur - - By Andrew Neitlich

How to hook a client with the toehold strategy

The previous blog entry (about upselling) has an important corrollary that is the subject of this blog:

The easiest way to get a client is with a toehold. If you can propose a small, initial piece of work, that is often a great way to land a long-term client. Here’s why:

1. It gives the client a safe way to review your work. A client is often more likely to go for a small assignment than a huge one.

2. It gives you the chance to prove what you can do.

3. Once you prove your value, trust goes up exponentially compared to when you were selling to a prospect (vs. working for a client).

When I was a consultant at Computer Sciences, we would offer clients a $75,000 diagnostic, which almost always led to multi-million dollar projects. That’s a large-scale example of the idea here.

This is only one strategy to land clients, but it has usually proven to be a great one. Once you have a toehold, you can continue to get more work and expand your presence/visibility.