smiling woman building her profitable business as she finds high value prospects

Need new customers? Find high-value prospects NOW.

Need more high-value customers? Make a plan and find them fast.

Instead of waiting for prospects to find you, why not go out and find them?

If you sell a high-value product or service, finding prospects and audiences can be challenging unless you know where to look.

There are lots of “watering holes” where your prospects hang out. You need to brainstorm about your product or service and list all the problems you solve. Then, you need to strategically think about where potential customers would go to ask questions or learn more about how to fix their problems.

Let’s say you’re a web developer specializing in complex e-commerce sites.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Who do you think is a good fit for your business?

Not newbie e-commerce businesses or big, established e-commerce companies. Your sweet spot is e-commerce business owners who have been in business for a few years and are ready to grow. You have eliminated who you don't want and established a specific customer profile.

What do you think are the problems these customers face?

Your ideal customer probably built their first site or hired someone cheap on Fiverr. It got them started, but they’ve had issues over the years that have cost them business. Or maybe they are growing and want to expand their offerings or partner with another supplier or company.

In short, they have growing pains.

Spend some time brainstorming this. What problems do they have? How do these problems impact their business?

Lost sales? Customer (or staff) frustration? Poor inventory management? Really dig down by putting yourself in your frustrated future customer's shoes.

How do you think you can help?

Can you offer simple fixes or suggestions for platforms? What expertise can you demonstrate? What is the fastest way to help customers get the e-commerce site of their dreams?

You are the authority, the expert. How can you capitalize on this? Do you have freebies you can give away?

Once you have answered these questions, you can start thinking about where your potential customers hang out.

Here are some ways to find them in just 30 days.

Day 1 – 14

Track everything.

Create a spreadsheet or document to track these interactions. You can only see patterns once you start tracking. Over the next 30 days, you will begin to see common questions and issues that arise. You will better understand how and where people are asking for help.

Search for the questions your customers might ask.

Open Google and type “How to scale e-commerce” or “Grow your e-commerce biz.” Search for “How to fix X problem with my e-commerce site,” substituting common problems you know about as an e-commerce web developer.

Ask lots of questions.

Go down the rabbit holes of sites attempting to answer the questions. Note the questions that seem to come up often and the site where you found them.

As you research, see what other questions come up. You might have searched “how to scale,” but the other questions asked are about site management.

Again, note these questions, their frequency, and the site where you found them. Add these to your spreadsheet or document. Those questions or comments may provide valuable insights.

Search on social platforms.

Where do your customers hang out? Different platforms have different vibes. Where are the most conversations happening that are relevant to your business?

What type of conversations are happening? Are people looking for advice? Are they looking to hire? Summarize the discussions, note the questions, and write down the sites.

Think outside the box.

Think about the vertical business niche sites and less about techy sites where you offer assistance and answer questions.

An e-commerce business owner specializing in fashion might chat about their challenges on Instagram.

Think like a customer trying to solve a problem.

Imagine how your customers might try to solve their problems independently. Would they go to a forum like TechCrunch?

What conversations take place on sites like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce? Are customers looking for help on Reddit or Quora?

Day 14 – 30

You’re ready to start your online search for new customers.

Zero in on 3-4 social or professional sites.

Review your spreadsheet/doc and look for the patterns. Where are people looking for help? What types of questions are being asked? Do the same questions come up over and over? Where do you see potential clients? What sites are full of your ideal customers?

Show up as a helpful, friendly face who offers excellent insights and answers questions.

You’re the neighbor with the cup of sugar to lend or the right tool to borrow. This takes time. But it also lets you stand out as a trusted authority figure.

Create a simple freebie that answers the most common question.

You want something tangible to provide if someone needs help. Can you offer a checklist, a blog article, or a short e-book of several articles you wrote?

This freebie should be helpful and demonstrate your authority and expertise. You want them to visit your website and see all you offer.

Pro tip: A compelling freebie is a list of resources. People love it when you, as the expert, compile a list of resources you trust.

Bonus pro tip: Put the list of resources on your website. That makes updating easy, and people may spend time reviewing your content.

When someone asks a question, answer it.

If it’s appropriate, offer your freebie. “Chris, this question comes up a lot, so I created this list of free resources to help. Can I give you a link to grab a copy?”

Always ask permission to share.

Make it clear that this freebie is something you can get at no cost or obligation. The real value to you is the dozens or hundreds of people who will see your expertise.

Do not ask for their business. Do not private message them to answer their question unless you get their permission.

Deliver your freebie.

There are two ways to offer the freebie.

Link them to your site – perhaps a resource page - where they can download your freebie. The advantage is that you bring them over to your turf, and they can see what you offer and let them sign up for an email list. The disadvantage is that some people will not be ready to give you an email address, and you may not get a second chance to capture their information.

Offer a direct link to a download. This approach may have the advantage of others seeing the freebie right there and clicking on the link. Once they have the freebie, your link is still embedded and waiting for them to click. The disadvantage is that you have to get them to click on a link in the freebie to get them back to your site.

woman thinking about growing her profitable business when she finds high value prodspects

Focus more on “what” and less on “how.”

Many people miss this part when prospecting customers. They are too quick to offer “how to fix” rather than “what needs fixing.”

It is a fine but crucial difference. You are prospecting for customers who want to buy your "how."

Don't be quick to give away solutions unless the problem is simple. Get potential customers to think about their pain and what it will take to fix it.

Any “how to fix” that you pass on should be part of recognizing a more significant problem.

Changing your approach is a slight distinction but critical to gaining new customers. Unless it is a simple fix, you must empathize with their struggles and spend more time getting to the root of what is going wrong.

Go into this process knowing that most people who ask for your help will never hire you.

That’s okay. You are creating a persona of a helpful, knowledgeable person with great social proof. Your goal is to build credibility and trust by being a valuable person.

You gain authority by having the correct answer to questions. You become a recognized expert in your area. Then, when the right people need help, you are top of mind.

Develop relationships.

Once people know, like, and trust you, you can start an off-the-forum conversation through messaging or email: offer help - not hype or sales pages.

Eventually, after a few exchanges, you can discuss what you do and who you help. Again, no sales. This contact is still a cold or barely warm prospect. They are not ready for a sales pitch.

After you have a relationship, you can respectfully ask if there is anything you can help them with professionally. You may get a no.

Ask if you can keep them on your mailing list if something interesting arises or if they have questions. You will probably get a yes – and now you have a warm lead for your sales funnel.

Finding high-value clients is possible, but remember, it’s a long game. Don't forget that your goal is to find prospects to nurture.

Building the know-like-trust factor that can turn conversations into sales calls takes time. You will develop these relationships over time.

Focusing on the “what” and not the “how” lets you demonstrate your expertise and gain high-value prospects in 30 days.

You may not make immediate sales, but that is not the goal.

High-ticket sales rarely happen when customers don’t already know and trust you. Instead, work to fill your sales pipeline with prospects you can nurture over time.

Then the sales can happen.

How can YOU find high-value leads FAST?

There are high-value leads for your big-ticket offers – but you have to know where to look and understand their needs.

Research where your audience spends time trying to solve their problems. Track your research over 30 days and look for patterns.

Take action: Download the worksheet Find High Value Prospects Online in 30 Days.

Taken from Profit-ize your Business Book Five: Prospecting, Client Acquisition, and AI for Your Business

Like this post? It was taken from the Profitize Your Business series

Patricia Browne

Patricia Browne

Patricia Browne is the author of seven books that help businesses grow and profit.

Read about The Profit-ize system and what it can do for your business

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