Dear Friends & Colleagues:

My new book – How To Win Client Business – has been released on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and independent book sellers all across the U.S.! It’s available now in both Kindle and Hardcover. The audiobook will be out in time for the holiday season.

I’ve been tracking my personal order from Wiley and the pallet of books is currently sitting in a UPS warehouse in Albuquerque, NM. Yes, it’s pretty humorous, actually. Many have received their copies before me. It’s a crazy world and one has to find humor in these sorts of things. I suppose.

To celebrate the launch of the book, I’m sharing an excerpt from my new book each week. This works out pretty conveniently to roughly 6 months – as there are 26 chapters. Last week I shared a sneak peek at Chapter 2 – you can check it out by clicking here.

This week’s peek is from Chapter 3: Where Clients Come From: Understanding The Key Client Pathways. In this chapter I describe the 7 key client pathways and rank them according to their relative success rate – based upon the research I conducted for the book.

Without further delay, here’s this week’s excerpt of Chapter 3. I hope you enjoy it!



Chapter 3: Where Clients Come From 

Understanding The Key Client Pathways

I received a knock on my office door today. It was a financial advisor from

Edward Jones. Her name was Molly and she was prospecting door to door in an

attempt to drum up business.

“How long have you been with Edward Jones?” I asked.

“About a month,” Molly replied.

“How’s it going?” I asked.

“It’s going all right, I suppose. I’m just getting started,” she explained.

“Have you landed any clients?” I asked.

“Yes, actually  –  I’ve landed two clients over the past four weeks,” Molly

beamed, “a young guy who recently graduated from college who wanted to get

started saving, and a middle-aged woman who was looking to roll over her 401(k).”

“Well, congratulations,” I said, “that’s a good start.”

Molly’s story may not be that familiar to many of us; most of us don’t prospect

door to door. But it does fit into one of the traditional client pathways; it just may

look a little different in your profession. Understanding these traditional pathways

is essential to understanding the importance of the five rainmaker skills that we’ll

soon discuss.


The Seven Most Common Client Pathways

Over a cocktail at a dimly lit bar, I’ll confess that I’ve spent more time than I care

to admit thinking about where clients come from and how we can get more of them.

Reflecting upon my own experiences and on hundreds of stories from others,

I have discovered that clients arrive via seven predictable pathways:

  1. Repeat business (from a satisfied client)
  2. Referrals (from a satisfied client, trusted colleague, friend, or acquaintance)
  3. Inquiries (from someone you know)
  4. Inquiries (from someone you don’t know)
  5. Warm prospecting (with someone you know)
  6. Warm prospecting (with an introduction)
  7. Cold prospecting (with no introduction)

These client pathways are ranked by their relative success rate. The first

pathway, repeat business, has the highest success rate. The last pathway, cold prospecting

(as in Molly’s example), has the lowest success rate. Those pathways in between are arranged

in an order of descending success rate. (See Figure 3.1.)

Why does repeat business have the highest success rate? As we discussed in

the previous chapter, clients hire people who they know, respect, and trust. If we’ve

done great work for a client in the past, there is a much greater chance they’ll hire

us again in the future or recommend us to others.

If you’re cold prospecting, the prospective client doesn’t know you, and has no

reason yet to respect or trust you. They may eventually choose to work with you,

but you’ll have to allow time for the client to move through the milestones of the

client’s buying decision journey.

For some of us, a prospective client may not know anything about what we do,

or how our service is remotely helpful. Thus, we’ve got some work to do and this

will take time. It doesn’t mean that prospecting doesn’t work in our lines of work.

It can work when done right. It’s just that the success rates will typically be lower

and the sales cycles longer


Click here to order your copy of my new book, How To Win Client Business, today!