Today, the majority of individuals in our profession generate 75% of their sales from less than five clients. The problem? This is not recession proof and could lead to inconsistent sales and profits. That’s why it’s so important to continually upgrade and attract new clients to your staffing firm.

If you are in the direct segment of the recruiting profession, you should have 10 key accounts and 20 back-ups. If you are in the temporary staffing business, you should bill 75 clients per month and, if you place higher-level contractors, you should bill at least 35 clients monthly. If this is not your reality, you must put more focus on client development.

But, before you start focusing on attracting clients, it’s essential to conduct revenue modeling so your marketing efforts target your best business. Study where your firm has successfully made placements and fills; not where you are writing job orders, temp assignments or contracts. 85% of marketing efforts should target your best business.

Now, here’s how to get more clients:

1. Target 50 companies or people you have identified as the best prospects for your business.

Research these targets, as well as their top competitors. You need to figure out what problems they are currently facing that you could solve. When you’re reviewing their website, read press and media which represents current information.

2. Set up Google Alerts for each prospective new clients.

This will help you to stay current on the most recent information being posted and possible hiring triggers.

3. Develop a follow-up process for your prospective clients.

Remember, it takes six contacts to gain name recognition. Begin with your top 20 target companies and contact them six times in the first nine weeks to gain name recognition. Then follow-up with a unique marketing presentation at least once a month.

4. Each quarter, target 10 additional companies until you have contacted all 50 targeted companies.

Less than 5% of Account Executives follow-up with prospects after three months. But, persistence does result in more business.

It takes tenacity and perseverance to identify and attract new clients. You must also be proficient at overcoming objections which in reality are buying signs and requests for more information. Prospective clients must feel you have targeted them as a company you want to represent, so you must share why you have targeted them and then prove you are willing to do what it takes to land their business.

5. Write a list of people in your “sphere of influence.”

These are people you know well that have influence within your community or specifically within the area of specialization or niche you are targeting as prospective customers. Call each one of them personally, and ask them to provide you with leads for building your business. Referred business is the best business.

6. Establish a client referral program to increase the number of new clients you attract through referrals.

Most employers are legally prevented from accepting gifts, which is why a great idea is to donate to their favorite charity in their name, if they refer a client who hires from you.

If you have been in the staffing and recruiting profession for more than two years, 50% of your new clients should be the result of referrals. If that is not the case, you need to step back and review your current referral process.

The most successful referral programs have a theme, a specific person in charge and results are monitored and adjusted. They also recognize individuals who generate the most referrals, in order to encourage other employees to generate referrals.

7. Personalize everything you do from this point on.

Technology has taken the personal element out of daily activities of many businesses. Make it a practice to have at least every third contact a conversation, not an email. The day of the personalized note cards is back and will help you stand out in the crowd. Direct mail is actually working because your prospects are getting less mail. Send your sales pieces in unique containers and envelopes to draw attention to your marketing pieces and show your personality.

Work to elevate the relationship you have with clients from vendor to trusted advisor, consultant and eventually friend. This is impossible to accomplish if the only time you talk to your clients is when you are making money.

The main differentiator between you and your competition is YOU. It’s the level of service you provide, your track record of success, your ability to provide your clients with results and the level of trust and rapport you have established. When clients consider you a friend who cares, they are much more likely to recommend your services to their business contacts.