Creative Ways to Get and Retain Clients
Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus
Creative Ways to Get and Retain Clients
August 29, 2022
In this episode, Sheldon goes over 5 creative ways to get clients and 5 creative ways to retain clients. This question was brought up from the Safety Consultant Facebook group. You can also get more tips by attending the Safety Consulting 101 virtual event. www.sheldonprimus.com/events
Keywords: Sheldon Primus, Safety, consulting, safety consulting, OSHA, regulation, driver, US government, EHS, business owner, email marketing, promotion, sales, client relations, CRM, autoresponders, project management, OSHA compliance,  safety audits, inspections, written programs, occupational safety, health 

[00:00:08] spk_0: this episode is powered by safety FM.

[00:00:17] spk_1: Welcome to the safety consultant podcast. I am your host, Sheldon Primus. This is a podcast where I teach you the business of being a safety consultant. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome at the time of this recording. It's literally the day I usually released I had something I was going to go with and then I looked at the facebook group that I moderate me and jay allen

[00:00:44] spk_0: from

[00:00:45] spk_1: safety FM. And it is facebook dot com forward slash groups with an S forward slash safety consultant. No. S after that one. And right now I think there's about 3000 international members and we're all over the world truly all over the world, every continent except Antarctica. I believe it's represented in the group. So that's been really cool for me seeing I started this thing years and years and years ago. So, um, we actually in the group just talk about safety consulting and a few other things and questions come up. So what happened in this one was that the question came up related to uh, what are creative ways to get and retain clients? And I had something else on the Q and I was like, all right, scrap that, answer this question right now because someone needs to answer right now. So that's what I'm doing right now for you. So hopefully this will help you out. But before we get to do that one, uh, I do want to let you know that I have two events coming up. One event I'll tell you about right now. The other event I'll tell you about later. The first event is going to be the OSHA compliance help event me and my business partner Kevin, Yarbrough. Yarbrough is X. OSHA, we have a company called Shell Burrow and Shell bro, Sheldon and Yarbrough Kevin did that one, I love it. So Shell bro, safety, we work together, we have clients, we basically do all the consulting things that you would do for your own business. Right? And we go out, we do inspections, mock OSHA inspections. We go out, we provide written programs and also online uh, safety and health programs as well. And we just do the regular safety, health, uh, consulting thing. So together we're going to do a joint event that is going to be where if you need some ocean compliance help, this is the event for you, Kevin is going to give you his experience with 26 years of OSHA and he was retired as Assistant Area Director Director Director, that's my accent Area Director, no Area Director, I should say that one, that one is pretty bad. But here I'm laughing at myself, you guys can laugh at me too. Alright, so kevin is retired as the Assistant Area Director of the Tampa office and that was the Tampa area office. So he has a really good experience on that. And so we are going to do an event there. You want to go to Sheldon. Primus dot com forward slash events or OSHA dot coach. That's the easier one. OSHA dot coach. And then you could find out some more information about that event. Sign up for that one and I'll be awesome. We're doing it in september. So that means you gotta register now. You gotta hurry up on this one. Let's make sure you get your place in. All right, I'll tell you about the other event at the end because it's related to what we're gonna do. So let's transition to the question and answering the question. So the question was first, what are creative ways to get and retain clients? So my mind, I'm trying to figure out, alright, how do I get this into a podcast format and how do I make it really just good for you guys? So I decided, let me break these two into too many topics. One is going to be how to get the clients and then the other one is how to retain. I know in other episodes I've kind of mentioned both of them. I just never put them together in one episode and name it that. So I couldn't really give this member of the group a specific episode to go to. So that's why I'm creating one now because now for forever and ever I can now go ahead and point to this episode and say, hey, this is the episode relating to clients and then there's other stuff too. Right, Alright, so let's give you my five not ordered. You're not like the only five, this is just things that have worked for me that I want to share with you. So we're gonna start with getting clients number one, start with your circle of influence, truly, you know people and you know people that know people, so that means that you are going to end up having to talk to them, tell them what you're doing first. I used to give out business cards like it was just going out of style. I don't even have business cards right now, literally I have no business cards. If you were gonna ask me about a business card and I can't help you got done. But when I first started I was like business card happy. I mean everybody got a card. You catching a card, you're catching a card, everybody's catching a business card. I just was doing it. Uh and I went to event after event after the event and I was sitting in a circle listening to everyone give their 1.5 minute speech on their business and then it goes to the next person and you'll get your 1.5 business speech and it's always at breakfast. So you got to eat a little breakfast to give a speech about your business and then network afterwards which really turned out to be so much of a time waster and I was going to these network breakfast is and all that stuff to really get my business going, bringing my cards, talking to people about what I did completely completely time waster and I just I couldn't do it anymore. It was terrible.

[00:06:44] spk_0: Alright.

[00:06:48] spk_1: Got my sound effect going that's all coming from my board this thing anyway so I then had to tell different ways to attract customers. So I was really thinking about people and I know you know people that work for other people, they may have a safety department, they may have some issues. Uh you just have to make sure that your friends and your associates know what you do. So you're going to be talking about your business most of the time when it's right I don't want you to you know try to insert your business that you know parent teacher conferences. You know, do any parents have any questions for me? Well you know I do safety consulting and you don't do that and that's not what I'm looking. Word, that's not what you need. So what you're gonna do though is legitimately let your friends and family know that you are looking for new clients, you're ready to take on your clients. Uh And if they know anybody that is in need of safety consulting or maybe they themselves are a business owner start there. That's the best thing to do and it started to work. I did that myself. So I have a good friend who owned a pest control company. I asked him about different things that he did with pest control. He talked him about safety. He turned out that he says that they do the eight hour has whopper refresher that he had to do each year. He's like I said, oh you do safety. Yeah, every year I got to do a refresher class for hazardous waste operation uh and it's a, just a refresher that's required and I was like, hey, I do that. It turned out that I was able to host my own Whopper class, invite people that he knew as well as other people in the pest management system. And then I eventually was able to eventually actually was really quick get clients in the pest control space. So that was one of the ways that just by talking to somebody that I knew that I was able to get clients. So the next one I'm gonna keep on keeping on, I think that's how you say it. So let's go ahead for the next one. Next one that I wrote down, I literally had to write this down, just want to make sure you guys know, so call your past professionals that you've maybe worked with, your people who you have come in contact with. Some how some way could have been through association meetings, could have been through uh an event, anything that is someone that you already know, that is a professional that you have dealt with before, that's the key that you have dealt with before, I'm not telling you to steal clients from your company. If you are working for a safety consulting firm or something like that, that's unethical. We're not going to do that. But what we're gonna do is if there's a way, especially if you were continuing to work first and then transitioning out of your safety officer job into safety consulting job, sure go ahead. And especially if you don't, well you have to make sure you don't have some sort of non compete clause or something like that. But generally in safety officers, we don't have that stuff. They don't think about us that way. So talk to people that you're dealing with and you know, you're going to offer some help on your time off weekends and whatever. And generally what that looks like is, hey, I'm doing a safety and health event this saturday at two o'clock if you're not working on Saturdays and say, do you know someone who will be interested or are you guys interested in doing this or something similar to that? So you want to get a hold of those people that know you are ready because part of your issue. No, you like you trust you. That's the cycle that everyone has to go through before they purchase. They have to know, you gotta like, you gotta put some sort of trust in you first and when that happens at that point you're gonna get your foot in the door, that's a client. So let's go to the next one. Now the other thing that you're going to do out of this one. So first we talked about your circle of influence, we're going outside of that two people professionals, number three, we're gonna go ahead and give away something and that's something the best thing to do is going to be training. Uh training is kind of like the Gateway drug. It is, it truly is, I gotta tell you it is the Gateway drug. And the reason why I say that is most people want to get you in to do training and then now you're open, you could see especially if the training is at their facility, you can start seeing other things. So that's one way that you can do it. So you're going to give away some training. However, it's not that great to give it away one on one because then that means you're only going to be able to get one person uh one client. So if you're gonna do the freebie, then the freebie is going to be best done in a larger group. So what you're going to be looking for is going to be looking for safety and Health association, you're gonna be looking for some sort of trade group, something like that, even if you're going to go to your, your Chamber of Commerce because usually they have business meetings at the Chambers of Commerce and it's breakfast again, offer to do a 15 minute safety talk or even OSHA update because those are going to be people that are specifically looking for that. And that's of course if you're in the US, if you're in another country because we've got served for a lot of countries now, we've got a wonderful list of countries listening to this podcast. Thank you all. So for your country, whatever the regulatory agency is, you could do an update to your business uh, whatever your, your, your business association would be a group of people who need this. Uh, the owners, you want to talk to people who are decision makers. You don't want to go in there and talk to people who are the assistance of anything unless they have influence on the decision makers. But you really want to get to the highest level as you can on the organization and that's gonna help you do that. So once you get that in there and you start talking to those decision makers, honestly, that give a wing of that training is going to be wonderful for you. All right, let's go to number four, do a webinar. Do your holster on webinar. Honestly, it doesn't, it's technology these days are pretty easy. I did a couple of weeks ago an episode and if you were listening to this later on in the future, which would be years because this is here forever. Right. Um, it was in august of 2022 so go back and look for that one uh in that month, I can't remember the episodes, I'm terrible about that. So what you want to listen for is view stub. View stub is one of the agencies that I've been working with. If you go to Sheldon Primus dot com, there's a tab that says view stubble on it and I'll be probably the easiest way for you guys to find it, click on that tab and uh, you could start your own company and I shouldn't say company because you already got your company, you can start your own women are do your own webinars. That's it. If you need some help, you could also get some help from my brother ken Primus and he has a company called Primus Global Media, so that also you do webinars and everything else for you too. So give a plug for my, for my brother, Yes, ken primis everybody making a show on appearance at my show. Yeah, just plug my brother's stuff even more if you are into like he has really cool materials such as um one of the things he does is threads of enlightenment, he wrote a book about it. So you have to do is go to your, your bookstores, whatever and look up ken Primus threads of enlightenment and he has a podcast, you can do not the podcast thirds of my enlightenment. He's got three podcasts, but this is one of them. And truly, uh I just love the idea of getting people on the show, interviewing them and having them tell you the things that are uh that they've learned on their journey, that's going to help you on your journey. And that's the enlightenment part. So there you go, plug for my brother, ken. All right, So, we did a webinar and if you again, you could use the Primus Global Media and you can reach out to, I believe it's Primus Global media dot com right now, if he's got the U. R. L. Going again. But honestly, he's been doing it person by person. So, you get a hold of me Sheldon at Sheldon Primus dot com and I'll give your information to him. So that's doing a webinar. And when you're doing a webinar, what you're gonna do is you're gonna give a topic, do a topic that is timely right now, either regulatory and I push regulatory issues because that's a driver, That's what people, they don't want to get fined or anything like that. So they're going to do what they can to stay out of hot water with the legal agencies with the regulators. So that is probably going to be the thing you want to do your your topic on and that's going to draw people, how do you reach them, reach them through postal Lincoln and reach them through posts on facebook, you're gonna also promote your your event as best as you can. And when I say reach them, you're you're basically going to be posting on your page because you have connections on your page. So every time you post your connections see it and that's linked in terms when you hear connections linkedin, uh there's a whole bunch of other ways to promote that. But it gets kind of expensive. So for the easiest and just for the ease because we still got to get to the five ways to retain and keep clients. I'm going to tell you post on your social media, your event and people who are already connected to you can see that and then make it a charged for event because people will come to something they paid for as opposed to a free event. Uh I've truly, it doesn't have to be much, you know, I have to charge, you know 50 bucks which is really cheap us dollars for an event such as a webinar. I used to see people paying 100 bucks for webinars I used to do when I was doing webinars for other companies and webinars for myself. So I just cut that price in half. But you can do it as little as you want. It's up to you. It's your business. So that is number four and number five, I talked about as little, I mentioned this in a bunch of other podcasts but I'm gonna do it one more time. So again we're talking about the five things first to get clients partner with a group or association for a project. The pest control example, I gave you guys earlier lead for me going to a pest control agency. I talked to them and me and the executive director. I said, all right, let's do this. Let's go ahead and do ocean compliance for all of our members will split up the state of florida into quadrants and that's where I was at the time, florida us and we split that state into quadrants and we did a webinar. Excuse me. We did an event where people were able to come into a certain location. They worked out the room and all I needed to do was show up and they paid me for speaking. So I did four different sessions with them. And then that opened the door for me to get clients again in that in that area, in that industry. So it is definitely worth partnering, especially with an association because you, if you're going to focus on the tree is going to take a lot of money, effort and energy to get many trees to your forest as opposed to going to a place who already has a forest and working off the forest and that's what you want. So one who has a bunch of clients a radio on their email list and now they're promoting you through their email list if there's a way that you can get that list as well, meaning like anybody that signs up for your event, you now will share that information or that information gets shared with you of that person's contact, that's what you want. So now that is a way for you to become their consultant. So recap for five ways of getting clients, ask your circle of influence called past professionals that you know, and tell them, hey, I'm doing this thing on my own. Can you help me out? You're also going to give away some training and you want to give it away? It's some sort of association meeting, something similar to that. Do a webinar, do your own. And then lastly partner with a group or association on a specific project. So that is uh the tons about to say, top five. No, not top five. Just five creative ways to get you some clients. Yeah, nailed it. Yeah. Alright. I do have other stuff too. So every once in a while I might have to throw in some other sounds in there. Okay, So now the other thing that we're going to end up talking about is how to retain clients. Okay, uh in order for you to retain clients, you're going to have to start thinking of a few different techniques if you will, but you also need to go back to basics basics or this, you get work, do the best work you can, that client is trying to trust you. So let's say you're doing a mock OSHA audit. Alright. You're going to do that. Mark OSHA audit. Coach them while you're doing your audit or OSHA Again, I'm saying OSHA generically whatever country you're in. If whatever regulatory agency you have just say we're doing a mock blank agency audit and that's really what it's supposed to. So At that point now, you're going to um do the best job. You can give them a report. And most of my reports coming from my mock audits are roughly about 25 to 30 pages. Because I'm taking pictures and putting those pictures in the report. I'm giving descriptions. I'm citing where the person should be looking for. As far as the citation that I found when I saw an issue that was hazardous and I do that for them. So I'm doing the work and and showing them all the different things that are related to that. One item that I found. And then at the very end we get a game plan. So the game plan is uh, is attack this first and then we'll do this next. And we'll do this next. So I give them a risk assessment as to what do we need to do to tackle things as is the highest risk to the lowest risk. So that's number one, do a great job. Get some detail, make sure that you impress them when you get your foot in the door and that leads to number to give a little bit more than expected. So let's say you're doing the Macos audit and you turn around and you see that they also need something else. Uh, so if at all possible, you know, just do a little bit extra more than expected. So what that could look like is maybe some extra on site coaching uh maybe when you're doing your, your generally, what I do is I'm pausing here because I don't want to, I don't want to merge steps, but if you are going to walk around the facility, you're going to see a whole bunch of stuff. So giving a little extra that coaching, I'm going to just stick with that and I'm going to not give them my extra thought because that's going to run into um another topic. So I'm going to save that as his own point. But coaching on site coaching is really good. And the reason why is then now you're talking to the workers uh and the workers now are going to start saying, hey man, that that consultant that came out, he talked to me about this and that and he mentioned this and sometimes they will quote what you said to them as the authority that goes around and then that actually will get to the decision makers and then the decision makers will have you back. So that's, that's what I'm trying to get at number three, you want to and this is to retain clients. You want to put them on some sort of communication list. I do an email list once a week on monday update on regulatory things for me. I update regularly about OSHA activities and E. P. A. Which is the environmental Protection Agency of the U. S. And I give them my email list updates on that and just let them know, hey this is what's coming. And the email list is comprised of former students, is comprised of clients current and past. And I even keep past clients on my list and let them unsubscribe when they're ready because it keeps me top of mind. So when they want to come back to me and then they already know to reply to my email and it makes it so much easier for them. So that's what you're gonna do. Get an email list. And that means you're going to need an email server and you'll have to get into some email marketing a little bit more as you get sophisticated. But at least just start with them weekly communication, you gotta be regular. So at least once a week and that's gonna keep you top of their mind. So if anything comes up and you know like hey I know a guy who knows OSHA. So another thing and OSHA again, you know, you know what I mean? Uh I gotta get like uh I gotta say regulatory agency house that instead of just Ocean because again there's many other regulatory agencies. So four ask for referrals and that is one and four and five kind of blend together. And it's hard for me to do that not to blend together on these 24 and five. So I'm going to just call it four and I'm going to give you guys a new one for five. I'm going to make this one up just top of the head. Okay so four and five uh ask for a referral. And the reason why is you want a four extra relationship with every client? Four X. Means four times that you're going to provide service either to them or through them and that's going to be a referral. So you get client number one that hired you to look over their written programs. And then while you're there you asked, hey is there anyone else that you know might need this service? Oh yeah, sure. Me and bob, we're talking about this before. Here's his number. Alright. Got a referral. So that is one time that you've the actual work is one the referral. And you you contact bob if you got in with him to do his stuff. And now at that point that's two X. So that's one relationship. Got you two things. Then maybe you could do an annual service. It's meaning that next year at this time I'm gonna make sure that you get uh your written programs updated or something similar And that's going to be time three and then maybe time for you could do some training for them related to the written programs especially if you update them. You've got to train people and what you just updated them. So at that point that's four times you've got business from one contact and that's going to help you retain customers. It's cheaper to retain customers than to get customers. So you want a four x. All those relationships as best as you can. So I combined on my list four and five. So that means I'm going to give you guys an extra one. This is a deep dive and unfortunately I'm going to have to say oh show a lot more. I'm sorry I just I got to OSHA it up on this one. Okay if you're driving my standing rule is you need to listen to this part first and then when you get home you're going to do this online. So you're gonna go to OSHA dot Gov. Uh For those of you in the U. S. Uh those of you that are outside the US. You might want to do this if you get access. I'm not too sure if OSHA has an access to block people from other countries which I doubt but this is just to give you an example and let you know what I'm talking about. But on OSHA's website they do have a program called a severe violating violators program enforcement program. So it's S. V. E. P. There's a list. So what you're gonna do is you want to go sure that gov and you're gonna do enforcement so click on enforcement which is going to be an entire very top tab. You'll see OSHA standards, enforcement topics, help and resources and news. And each one of those have drop down menus except enforcement. There's no drop down menu on that one click on that. And that's gonna get you to the ocean enforcement page and then you're going to look in the middle where it says policy and guidance under the picture and you're going to see a list as severe violators. And it's going to be a link not a list of link click on that and that's going to open up pop out. That's going to give you a white paper on severe violators option to click that. And then the other option is going to be an Excel spreadsheet. And the Excel spreadsheet is their case log the actual case log of severe violators. So if you're going to really you know try to up your game you're now could look at this list for severe violators and you could then use this for clients. So go through the severe violators list. And right now there's 699 of these people that are actively in severe violators enforcement list and you now will have the uh their log number. You're going to have the region that they're in, you're going to have their name. You're going to have the city, you're going to have inspection numbers that are going to give you even more details like addresses and issues that have happened. So now you can have really more details on what you're going to approach the client on. And then you also have what the criteria is for why they're on the severe violators list and there's a few other information there and if it's open or closed case or whatever. So you really want to go through that one and kind of pick areas that you are working in and then even areas that you have expertise in which will be even better. And then at that point you're going to reach out to these these companies and say, hey I am a safety compliance officer and I can help you guys get off the severe violators list. And honestly it's just action once they take action, once they start listening the severe violators list or those people who are on that list for a reason there's many people that work under these agencies. There are these companies that are being led, they're going to be at risk and you now could be helping force. So go through that list and see what it is that they're the violation is for and reach out to him. How you reach out to them is you're going to have the company's name And you're also going to have uh in this you're gonna have the inspection number. So find the inspection number, go to the ocean establishment search and you can now search by inspection or you can search by company name. Uh I don't know if establishment search. Well if you're gonna do the establishment search, I know for sure you can just do it by by company name. So highlight the company name or copy it, paste it into the the establishment search section of the OSHA website. And now you can find details of that specific company and activities with OSHA. You take those details and now you're going to bring that up to the person you're going to call is going to be either usually you want to get a hold of the VP or manager of some sort of the plant or someone who is in risk. And if they do have a safety department you can talk to the safety department and tell them that you could be a third eye to them, meaning outside perspective if you will. Okay so that is truly uh some of the things that I want to go over five things to keep a client do great work. Give more than expected, get an email list and email them often at least once a week. And then you're also going to ask for a referral for X. The relationship. And then when you're really ready to up your game and you guys are in the US, you guys outside of the U. S. You're gonna have to find the nuances for severe violators. But for you in the U. S. You could go to the severe violators list, Print that out or go through that on contact the companies and say, hey I can help you. They may be looking for help. They may not, it's a numbers game, there's 700 on this list right now. So you're going to have to truly go through some of the numbers in your area and try to get one or two. And then for excels one or two. And then now that's your business, right? So those are creative ways to get and to retain clients. I want you to do one other thing for me. And this other thing is going to be related to three things in one. If you have not subscribed to this podcast, it means a lot to me. It shows your support, shows that you like. It. It also helps you remember to come back to this podcast. So go ahead and subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening to me right now. That would be wonderful rate the podcast because that helps the algorithms that helps share the information to other people because that means your service knows that it is really good because they're seeing a lot of traffic by people sharing. And then they're going to boost to show up a little to help more people. So that's the other thing and if you can which will be awesome for the same reason is to leave a comment on wherever you're listening to me and that service now that comment is going to stay with the show regardless of I believe it goes with me everywhere. At least it's going to help the algorithm. So that's going to help me out very much gang. So if you don't do my events or anything else, but you want to help me out. Hey Shauna, thank you for all three years worth of podcast then that's the way to thank me. The event that I was trying to not say earlier is actually safety consulting 101. This is the second annual safety consulting 101 event I did it last year, doing it now and the safety 101 event is me working with you for three hours and we truly, truly, truly go through this thing. And not only are we going to go through how to start your business, we're also going to go through pretty much everything naming your business. Finding clients a little bit more detail than we did. Now. We're also going to go through hosting your own webinars. How do you partner with people like you talked about this step by step by step, ways of doing this and honestly this is not you listening to me as a webinar, this is work. So I'm going to talk to you for a little while. And then we're gonna stop. You're going to get on your computer. You're going to get on your you're going to get on your whatever your regulatory agency is. And then we're going to do some work. So this is a working event. Three hours of a working event. Go to Sheldon Primus dot com forward slash events. Sheldon Primus dot com forward slash events. And then you could go ahead and sign up to be part of the safety consulting 101 event. And that's what you're looking for. Safety, consulting one oh one event and that's in september. So you got to hurry up on that one too. So the ocean compliance help us in september and this one's in september. So, I got those two. All right, gang. I think we got enough information if there's anything else I forgot my bad. But that's alright. Have yourself a wonderful rest of the week and like I always say, go get him.

[00:37:41] spk_0: This episode has been powered by safety FM. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast or broadcast are those of the host of its guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company examples of analysis in the past hour. They should not be utilized in the real world as the only solution available as they are based on very limited and dated open source information, assumptions made within this analysis are not reflective of the position of the company. No part of this podcast or broadcast may be reproduced, stored within a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means mechanical, electronic recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the creator of the podcast. Children kindness.