The most memorable experience for any entrepreneur would be their how they landed their first client. There seems to be an unusual quality to the first deal where you feel that all your hard work has paid off. It is not unusual for most entrepreneurs to keep a memento of that first deal.
But landing the first client could also be the hardest as you normally don\\\'t have a reputation and contacts. Pamela Alfaro who runs a travel agency, Ashta Holidays, says that landing her first client felt like her dreams were fulfilled. Here are some tips from Alfaro on how one can land that first client.
1) Build up your business by relying on word of mouth
Although startups usually have no reputation one can have industry contacts refer you. Thus often your first clients would be friends and relatives. Alfaro says that her first client came from a referral and that her initial clients were all referrals from friends and relatives. She says that good service helps build up word of mouth that can allow one to rapidly gain clients.
2) Be transparent
Set yourself apart from other businesses by being transparent. Being transparent helps create trust that is vital for maintaining a long lasting relationship. Alfaro recalls how being transparent helped land her several clients. She was approached then by a group of rich kids from the province who had a bad experience with the travel agent in their place. The problem was that the group didn\\\'t enjoy their tour because of several unrevealed destinations in the tours. So what she did was to be transparent and tell them what to expect from the package that they chose. "I tell them you paid for this so expect this." The transparency paid off because even before the group left on the first trip they were already asking her to arrange the next.
3) Follow up and get to them
Clients like it when they fell that you have respect for their time. That is why Alfaro says that any inquiries must be addressed as soon as possible. "Get back to them fast if you leave three to four days without hearing from you they tend to leave.\\\' She says that by processing client inquiries fast you gain an advantage by making clients feel important. Being fast in getting back to clients can gain you referrals from satisfied clients.
4) Offer a good product and make them feel important
Normally some clients feel ignored particularly if you\\\'re dealing with bigger companies. That is why it pays to offer personalized services that cater to the client\\\'s specific needs. Personalizing a product maximizes the chances that the client will be satisfied and makes them feel important. But emphasize that the personalized product comes with its own price tag. So Alfaro tells her clients "If you want to have a better package, accommodation, then you will be charged more."
5) Offer value added services
Sometimes something very minor can help you land clients. With so many providers offering the same or variants of the same service even providing an added service could help you land clients. The value added service could be something that saves money or time or takes a particular concern off your clients mind. Alfaro says that to get clients she adds online check in to her services that allows clients to arrive later in the airport later than usual. "I\\\'m not required to do that but I do it to make it more convenient for the client."