How to Approach Your Competitor’s Clients

Question: What are some surefire ways to overcome obstacles when trying to form new relationships with people who have long-established relationships with other artists?

Think about it this way: hopefully you have at least one loyal, long-term client who loves and adores you … maybe several! So what do you offer these clients to keep them coming back to you?

What Makes You You?

Is it your unique style? Do you offer them a great value? Maybe you are über-efficient, or you consistently go above and beyond to get the job done. One thing is clear: You have earned their trust.

Graham Brown RedHeart

© Graham Brown

In thinking more about why these clients consistently turn to you, you’ve already figured out some ways to break through the roadblocks in forming new relationships with people, even people who have long-term relationships established with other artists. Being able to understand a potential client’s needs – and figuring out how you can provide what he or she needs, perhaps even better than his or her current vendor can – is the key.

Consider the Obstacles

If you’re not getting your foot in the door, what or who is standing in your way? Are you approaching the right contact person? Are you communicating with potential clients in their preferred manner (email, vs. phone, etc.)? Is your awesome marketing – aimed directly at getting this piece of business – getting through to your intended target?

If you have gotten their attention and are already involved in the bidding process but still not winning the jobs, something’s not working for them – so, what is it? It’s perfectly fine to ask potential clients what they’re looking for in a potential vendor.

It might be as easy as being more competitive in your pricing, or communicating more clearly your understanding of the project, or making a favorable connection with them over a frosty beverage at an industry event.

But if you don’t ask, you may never know … and that’s no way to start a new, rewarding relationship.

About Bonnie

I recently became a Partner/Producer/Agent for the wonderfully talented Graham Brown Photography.

Prior to this, I wore a Sr. Art Producer’s hat for 15 years. I was fortunate to produce great work for some fantastic agencies. The most recent position was at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, and a good many years at Carmichael Lynch. Among my Freelance arsenal, are: Goodby Silverstein, Apple, DraftFCB, Olson, Y&R, Cutwater, BabyCenter, and Pereira & O’Dell.

I enjoy facilitating portfolio reviews, and participating in workshops, panels and blogs for APA, ASMP, and Agency Access.

This spring, I’ll be reviewing portfolios at the Palm Springs Photo Festival. Bonnie Brown

Related Articles:

1. Understanding What Clients Look For

2. 7 Tips to Keep You On A Client’s Mind

3. How to Snag a New Segment of Clients

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