Before I jump in to WHY (which is the actual point of this article) let’s talk about WHAT. As in “What is a List?

A “list” is a list of people who have given you permission to contact them with relevant information on specific topics. Your list should be filled with your target market. The contact information on your list can be email addresses or mailing addresses.

You may have heard the saying before, “The Money’s in the List.” Here is why…

In order to get clients you have to have build a relationship. People need to KNOW you exist, LIKE what you’re saying and TRUST that you will deliver what you promised. Once potential clients Know, Like and Trust you, then they want to do business with you. I call it the “Know, Like and Trust Factor”.

Getting clients can be difficult, without a list. While it’s possible that a client will find you today and buy from you or hire you, most clients need to be touched 7 – 9 times before they take action. Most small business owners don’t have time to reach out individually to each lead, 7 – 9 times. I know I don’t!

Having a list will keep you from chasing down leads or having a one-sided conversation with clients. Your list will help you engage clients, start a dialogue, and build a relationship.

The Know, Like and Trust Factor, raises an important question:

How can you get potential clients to know you?

The first step is to be in front of them. If they don’t know you exist, nothing will happen. You need to market your services in a way that offers value. Refrain from overbearing marketing tactics. Instead, create a mailing list, use article marketing or press releases, get the word out through social networking. In the offline world, you can also do things like public speaking and networking.

In the end, the point is to get noticed. Once you successfully get over this bump, clients will want to know more about you.

Now that potential clients KNOW you, they have to LIKE you.

Most of us aren’t willing to buy from someone we don’t like. And if we buy from someone who is not likeable in their interactions with us, we usually don’t want to work with them again. You’ve probably been through this: Have you ever had a bad waiter, interacted with a rude employee at a store, or hired someone who turned out to have a bad attitude? If so, this was probably annoying, and you probably avoided future interactions with that person or company.

For another example, I was speaking with a client a while ago who said that she had found the ideal web designer for her business. The designer had a great website, valuable experience, and a quality portfolio. So, she went on his website and filled out the “request a quote” form and planned to hire him. Unfortunately, though, the designer never got back to her. After a week, she emailed him. A couple days later, she called. When he finally called back, he apologized, explaining that he’d been busy, and then he asked if she could remind him about her project. Needless to say, she went with a different designer.

This designer got himself KNOWN, but he obviously didn’t put much effort into the LIKE factor.

Part of your marketing strategy should focus on getting people to like you enough to want to work with you. Do this by using your mailing list. Share interesting content that is relevant to your target market, stay in touch and connecting with them regularly.

It’s also important to give value, to be genuine about yourself and your business, and to share information about how you can solve people’s problems. Be real. Don’t be afraid to show your face to your list.

Don’t be a faceless, nameless company. Clients want to work with a person they can KNOW.

Finally, there’s the trust factor. This is the basis of all strong relationships.

When people know you and like you, they can learn to trust you. Trust that you are going to deliver what you promised. Your list will learn to trust you based on the quality and types of information you share as well as the services and products you offer.

In the end, if you want to make this sale, potential clients need to know that they can trust you, and that you have the expertise to give them what they’re looking for. If they trust you, they will pay you to solve their problems.

As the old saying goes, everyone likes buying, but nobody wants to be sold.

Trust is the key. When getting clients, it’s your most powerful tool.

Author's Bio: 

Small Business Coach and Marketing Strategist, Jennifer Davey, is the author of the 14-Step Formula for Getting Clients, Building your Business and Making More Income. Grab a free copy of her Report “What You Need to Know to Be Successful at Getting Clients”.