Lead Generation

How To Get Clients Fast: A Step By Step Practical Breakdown

Vector Set Of Hands
Written by James Johnson

Getting new clients is hard.

It’s probably the worst part of running your own business. Why isn’t there a system where clients just fall in your lap?

Sadly that’s not the way business works. Never has done, and unless you reach truly great heights of success, it never will.

So, take a moment to go and find a nice quiet space away from people. Close your eyes. Drop to your knees. Look up to the sky and shout at the top of your lungs.

Done? Good.

Now you’ve got that out of your system, you can move forward with learning system that will help you guarantee new clients.

How are you going to learn that? Well, by reading this article, of course.

You’re about to learn:

  • A fool proof system for guaranteeing clients
  • Finding your perfect pitch
  • How to track and measure your progress
  • What to do if you need clients right now
  • A 10 point checklist to client success

Success Is In The System

Scott Adams, the brain behind Dilbert, is a huge user of systems over goals. Because systems don’t need willpower. They don’t drain you mentally or physically.

They just get done.

And whilst I believe that you should have goals for getting clients. Going and getting those clients should be a system.

What do I mean? Let’s take an example…

I’m a Freelance Writer. I need to have 10 clients at all times to make the living I want. So my goal is to have 10 writing clients.

I have a system where I contact 10 people a day to build that business. I essentially fall out of bed, make a coffee and write to them.

So, don’t set the goal of contacting a certain amount of clients. That requires strength and willpower.

Instead build a system where you automatically just do it. It’s easier to do, requires less of your time and will make you much more successful.

And now you’re going to learn how to do it…

The Most Simple System For Getting Clients You Will Ever Learn…

You’re about to learn to follow three simple metrics that will tell you everything you need to know about getting clients.

I don’t do numbers, so I like to take the ‘keep it simple, stupid!’ option.

Which is actually pretty powerful.

The three metrics you’re going to measure are:

  1. Clients contacted
  2. Client responses
  3. Guaranteed work

That’s all the information you’re ever going to need to get clients. Everything you need to know is right there.

Really? Really.

Put simply, it looks like this:

You contact 10 potential clients. Out of those, two people respond to you. One of those responses signs a contract with you or your company.

Now, try to answer these questions using that information:

  • How many clients do you need to contact to get one new clients?
  • How many do you need to get six new clients?

That’s right: 10 and 60.

Pretty easy right?

Your numbers may not be this simple – depending on your business, the pitch and the time of year – but once you know your numbers, you give yourself the best chance of success.

So if you needed six clients today, you know exactly what it is that you would need to do.

Who knew business could be this easy.

For the rest of this article, you’re going to look at the system a little bit deeper and how to track and measure your clients, progress and numbers.

Metric #1: Clients Contacted

To contact clients you need five things at the ready:

  1. A spread sheet
  2. A specific amount of people to contact
  3. Their contact information
  4. A pitch
  5. A big red box

Now, I don’t know who your potential clients are. That’s something you’re going to have to answer for yourself.

I’m good. But I’m not that good.

So let’s bypass that step for now and look at the rest.

Your Spreadsheet

This is going to be your defacto brain for now.

Essentially you’re going to dump all of your potential clients information here. It can be as simple or as complex as you like.

But your end product should look a little like this:

Speadsheet pic 1

How Many To Contact?

Grant Cardone is a great salesman who promotes the 10x rule.

Which means that whatever you think you need to do, multiply it by 10, and that’s what you actually need to do.

And I agree.

At least whilst you’re starting out with this system. If you think you need to contact five people a day, try 50.

The more activity you put in the better your end result will be. It won’t need to stay that high for long, trust me.

Either way – big or small – set a specific target of people to contact every day.

Your Pitch

Ahh, pitching. As much as some people hate it, I find it quite enjoyable. Because it’s nowhere near as hard as you might think it is.

Much like I don’t know your clients; I don’t know your industry, either. So you’re going to have to use your initiative on this one.

But, here’s a sales tactic that works well for pitching and can be used on just about anyone.

  • Attention: Grab their attention.
  • Information: Show them the benefits of working with you.
  • Desire: Show them not why they need it, but why they want it.
  • Action: Strong calls to action that will make them do what you want.

Build your pitch around that information and you’ll rarely go wrong.

A Big Red Box

Jerry Seinfeld created good habits by crossing a big red X through the day on his calendar. And you’re going to do something similar…

Every time you contact someone turn the big red box on your Spreadsheet, green.

Not only does this remind you who you’ve contacted, but you also makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Especially when you go back to your sheet and it looks like this:

Speadsheet pic 2

Taking Action…

When you have all of this in place, it’s time to take action.

Don’t sit around looking at your Spreadsheet. Fill it with contacts and start applying to your specific amount.

Then it’s time to move on to the next section…

Metric #2: Client Responses

The clients on your list will get back to you. Well, some of them anyway.

When they do, it will be for one of these reasons:

• To tell you no
• To tell you yes
• To ask you some questions
• To book a meeting

And, I’ll let you in to a little secret – it doesn’t matter what they respond. Because each one of those answers takes you closer to the sale. After all, if it takes 50 people to say no before you get a yes, at least you know what you’re working with, right?

However, there is one thing you should bare in mind with this stage of the system: until they sign on the dotted line it only counts as a response.

If you haven’t agreed terms, been paid or signed a contract, this is just general conversation.

Being clinical with this step helps you find the exact number of people to contact much easier.

When someone does respond to you though, mark it on your Spreadsheet:

Speadsheet pic 3

It might look ugly but it really is effective at keeping track. And you can see just how well you’re actually doing with all these people getting back to you.

Be sure to measure this closely. If you’ve contacted 20 people and three people have got back to you, mark it down. This is a crucial step in the process.

Getting people from responses, into clients, is an art form in itself. Here’s some tips to make that happen:

  • Respond Quickly: You’re never too busy to respond to a new client. It doesn’t have to be within minutes, but you have a 24 hour countdown to get back in touch.
  • Don’t take it personally: Whatever the client says isn’t about you. It’s about them and their business. Wear a thick skin and always leave a good impression.
  • Benefits not Features: Focus on how your service improves their lives. A good SEO service doesn’t just rank you highly in Google – it makes you more money.
  • Ask yourself this: ‘Where do I need to be to get the business?’– Do you need to adjust your prices? Offer a different type of service? Do you need to focus on different benefits?
  • Stick to your bottom line: You should be flexible in your negotiations. But stay true to your worth. If you’re not happy with the price or the terms, there are plenty more clients to speak to.
Metric #3: Guaranteed Work

Now you’ve entered negotiations and started getting people onside, you’re going to have people who want what you’ve got.

Because, well, you’re amazing.

As I mentioned in the last section, this only counts for sign on the dotted line work. If it’s anything less than, ‘I’ll take care of that invoice on Monday’, it doesn’t go on the sheet.

When that does happen, it’s time to mark it off the Spreadsheet again. (Have you picked up on the running theme yet?).

Speadsheet pic 4

Once you’ve done that, you have your first set of numbers to work from. And the basis of a super simple business model.

Going off the sample Spreadsheet – where the President was kind enough to take me on staff – my numbers look like this:

  • Contact five people
  • Two people will respond
  • Of those two responses, one will be a guaranteed contract

Now, I can hear the naysayers already, rolling your eyes and tutting. Because business just can’t be that simple.

But it is.

Getting clients might be hard work – and your numbers could be terrible – but once you have a number to work from, you know what it takes to get clients.

And you never have an excuse to not find clients again.

The Best Thing About This System…

The fact this system tells you how much work you need to do to get clients isn’t even the best part.

The best part is that it gives you red flags for what you’re doing wrong. It actually tells you when something is wrong with your approach.

How? Well, let me show you a few flags and what they mean.

#1: Lots Of Pitches, No Responses

Basically, your Spreadsheet looks like this after a couple of days:

Speadsheet pic 5

The Problem?

Your pitch sucks. Change your approach.

#2: Low Response, High Business

Your Spreadsheet starts to take this shape:

Speadsheet pic 6

This could go either of two ways:

  1. Your pitches aren’t great; but you’re good at negotiating
  2. You need to focus on more businesses like this

Try changing your pitch, or change your business focus, and see the result you get.

#3: Lots Of Responses, No Business

You have a Spreadsheet that looks like this:

Speadsheet pic 7

You need to look into your client responses to figure this one out, but either:

  • Your not pitching clearly
  • You haven’t focused on the benefits
  • You need to adjust your product, service or bottom line

If you’re really not sure, ask the people you’re speaking too and see what they’re saying. People are always happy to give feedback as to what you could have done better.

Feedback Is Priceless

You’ve probably spent until now just getting in touch with people, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Not meeting targets and not finding out quite why that was happening.

This system gives you the feedback you need to improve.

If you look for, and monitor, what’s happening with your Spreadsheet, you’ll be able to adapt and improve your approach in no time.

For example, I spent the best part of January writing to local businesses about Copywriting for them. The only people who got back to me were people who already had blogs – not people who needed to set one up. Of those people, the most business I got was people who had dormant blogs.

So I change my approach to write to only companies with blogs that hadn’t been used in at least three months.

My business started to grow again.

Like I say, it’s simple, but really effective.

The Ultimate Checklist For Finding, Getting And Guaranteeing Clients

You’ve made it this far into the article, which is an achievement in itself. Well done.

Chances are you don’t really want to have to go through and read it all again either, do you? Well don’t fear because this checklist is here.

You can copy and paste this, print it out and stick it in the most easy to read place in your office, because you’re going to need it. From start to finish, this is all you need to do get clients.


#1: Open your Spreadsheet: You’re going to track all of your work in here.

#2: Write down everyone you’re going to speak to: Every business/person/name you’re going to contact write them down.

#3: Decide on a specific number of people to contact: Remember, it’s always more than you think it will be.

#4: Create a ‘red’ box next to their name: So you know who you haven’t written to.

#5: Set aside some time: Give yourself at least an hour to talk to people. Block it off and don’t get distracted.

#6: Turn the red box green: After every pitch you make. It feels good to be making progress.

#7: Don’t stop until you’re done: It’s a minimum amount for a reason, so stick to it.

#8: Record your responses: It doesn’t matter when they get back to you, or how. Make sure you record it.

#9: Watch for feedback: Pay attention to what your numbers say, and any feedback you get. It will make you better in the long run.

#10: Be persistent: Sales talent means nothing. It’s the hustle, the grind and the constant knocking on doors that wins the day.


There you have it.

Everything you need to know to set yourself up for client-getting success is right here.

Here’s the key lessons to learn:

  • Take action: You can’t find clients without it.
  • Systems, not goals: The system doesn’t need willpower that goals do.
  • Record everything: When you find the numbers you need for success, you’ll always know what you need to do.
  • Look for feedback: That’s the biggest component to any success.

And, if you have any: questions, comments or need any help on the system, let me know in the comments. I’ll help you in any way I can.

About the author

James Johnson

James is a Freelance Blogger from Manchester, England.

When he's not writing, you can find him either: drinking whiskey, playing rugby, eating sweet potato fries or taking care of his Mens Lifestyle magazine, Gentify.

His goals for this year are to get published in print, and be given the position of 'Secretary of Everything Awesome'.

  • James,
    I’ve been looking for a “better” system to approach lead generation. This is the simple, straightforward answer I think I was looking for. Thanks for sharing.

    Despite being a copywriter myself, I always struggle with writing cold emails to potential clients. I’d love to see what your emails look like. Would you be willing to share?