The Four Pillars of Client Generation

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I’ve run into a lot of business people who have thought that just because they have a great product, they are determined to be successful in the marketplace and will have no problem generating clients. When they think they have all their ducks in a row, and are working really hard to get clients, but are failing to actually have people sign on their dotted line, it’s because they are missing out on something absolutely critical to client generation.


The Four Pillars of Client Generation is all about recognising that there is a certain equation, where all elements need to be present in order go get people to become your clients. They include:

  • DESIRE: Your prospect needs to desire your product or service. They need to be able to see how this product or service will bring an enhancement to their life. They have to want it. If they do not desire it, they will not buy it.
  • TRUST: They need to trust you personally and need to have rapport with you. They need to feel comfortable with you being the one who they pay to deliver your product or service. They also need to feel as though you are not going to pull the rug from under them and leave them vulnerable if things don’t go as planned.
  • CREDIBILITY: They need to see you as a credible source and trusted advisor and to be able to see you as an experienced and knowledgeable resource for your field. They must believe that you are the person that can get them the results that they want.
  • VALUE: They need to clearly be able to see the value of what you are providing. Are they truly getting some bang for their buck? What is it about your product or service that they can’t get from anyone else?

I can guarantee you, based on my experience and experience with others, that if you are not generating clients, it is because you are missing one of these critical components. You cannot make a sale with just having two or three of these pillars covered; all four must be present in order for your prospect to want to do business with you.

A Few Scenarios

I’m going to show you a few scenarios that shows how vitally important it is to have all four pillars in place before you expect someone will want to buy from you.

Lacking Value

Your prospect is showing desire for your product; it is something they have deemed to be useful to you. The rapport that they built with you shows that they do see you as a trustworthy and credible resource and advisor, but they are hesitant when it comes to the dollars and cents of it all. Perhaps they feel that way they will pay you is not worth the value you promise, or maybe they can’t clearly see the return on investment. This is where you’ll need to do more work to break down the value of the product or service and find ways for them to see the value in what you offer.

Credibility Is Under Question

Especially if you are earlier in your career and you are working hard to build your expertise, your credibility may come under scrutiny from time to time. Your prospect may state that the product or service that you have to offer is appealing, they may like you a lot as a person and therefore see you as trustworthy, and it is clear to them how your product or service will provide returns on their investment, yet they make a comment that may lead you to believe that it’s your credibility they are questioning. This may be hard to take, hard to digest, but this is where you will have to do the hard work to build your credibility. How can you demonstrate that you have proven to be credible in a variety of other situations? For instance, do you have some previous clients who may be able to vouch for your credibility? Testimonials available? Perhaps they would like to see a list of your accomplishments. Whatever you can do to build your own credibility will not only help you with each deal, but it will help you build credibility across your field.

Hesitant to Trust

You’ve probably heard that old adage that trust is hard to build but incredibly easy to break. Some people are just inherently skeptical. When you can acknowledge this, you can approach your prospect with understanding their skepticism up front. For some people, the trust process is relatively easy; they may just see you as an expert and decide to trust you as such. For others, they may just have had some bad experiences in the past that make them weary of people who are trying to sell them something. When you see that the value is there, your credibility is seemingly intact, and they show a desire for your product or service, you may need to spend a little more time getting to the root of any hesitations to trust.

Do They Want It?

If you are trying to sell a product or service to someone who doesn’t want that product or service, no matter how trustworthy, credible, or how much value you think you’re demonstrating, all efforts are moot if they do not want or have any desire for your product or service. This is where, if you’re really intent to gain them as a client, you’ll have to twist the proverbial knife so that they can feel that desire towards your product or service.

How Can You Improve?

The Four Pillars of Client Generation is a useful formula to help you figure out where the gaps in your sales approach are. Simply put, you need to have a desirable product or service that provides value to your customer.  To sell that product, you need to show that you are a trustworthy person to deal with who has built credibility amongst your field and your clients. Take a moment to reflect on those times when you didn’t get the deal – what was missing, and what do you need to do to ensure that all Four Pillars of Client Generation are strong and apparent in your approach?