October 26, 2012
What makes one client appear more important than the others?
Personally, I think all clients are important. If we have taken the time and energy to qualify and accept them as ideal clients, does that not make them important?
For most service professionals, important clients generate lots of fee revenue.
Financial issues aside, losing an ‘important’ client is not always and automatically a bad thing.
Here are 3 good things about losing an ‘important’ client.
1. It’s A Good Wake-Up Call
With a steady flow of income from an ‘important’ client, it’s easy to forget about such things as providing great service for all clients and marketing to attract more and better clients.
Great client service helps generate repeat and referral business from existing clients. And good marketing attracts the kinds of clients that you love to serve.
Nothing emphasizes the importance of focusing on serving existing clients and attracting new ones better than the loss of a high-revenue client.
2. ‘Important’ Clients Are Not Always Ideal Clients
One law firm in which I worked had a mid-sized mortgage lender as a client. This client insisted that its clients, the mortgagors, have the necessary legal work done by our firm. The steady flow of fee revenue ensured all of us that we would receive our pay checks.
But the mortgagors were among the most annoying and obnoxious clients I have ever worked with. With their over-fed sense of entitlement, they were unhappy with everything from having to deal with our law firm to our unwillingness to go to their homes on weekends to look after the legal work.
Nothing pleased them. But as long as the fee revenue continued to flow, the firm eagerly accepted each new client file.
I was happy when I left the security of the steady revenue flow in favor of choosing the clients I wanted to serve.
3. Opportunity To Revise Your Plan For Success
When a high-revenue client leaves, clearly one of our priorities is to replace lost revenue.
What better time to consider new and potentially more profitable revenue sources?
Replacing lost revenue does not mean delivering the same service that produced the lost revenue. Perhaps there are other services that could deliver but have never had the time because of your commitment to the now departed ‘important’ client.
But why stop there? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your business plan. It’s possible that the client’s departure is a sign of things to come.
Every cloud has its silver lining.
How would you turn the loss of a high-revenue client into a positive development?
Over the past 8 days, I experienced 20 performances of live music. The performers were some the world’s best from more than 20 countries.
It was great.
But how does the experience connect with professional service marketing, which after all, is the overall theme of this blog?
At first glance, it seems difficult to establish any kind of relationship.
However, there are some very interesting connections…really!
The most obvious connection is that both professional activities are achievable challenges.
In each case, the process of meeting the challenge starts with identifying specific outcomes to be achieved.
Musically, I wanted to experience 20 live performances over a period of 8 days.
From the perspective of marketing our professional services, we want to attract more and hopefully better clients. But that’s like saying “I want to see live music.” Nice…but not good enough.
How many new clients do you want? What would make them better than the clients you have? And over what period do you want to attract these clients?
Once we have identified the specific results we want, the next step is devoting resources and taking action to achieve our desired results. In order to attend each and every live music performance, I had to free up the time and physically get myself to and from the venue, some 22 KM (about 13 miles) from my home.
In marketing, we must free up the necessary resources to connect with potential clients and then convert these connections into meaningful relationships.
The First Lesson
But here’s the first of many lessons learned. It’s really easy to come up with excuses for not doing what we said we were going to do. ‘I’m too tired to travel.’ ‘It might rain.’ ‘I don’t like that kind of music.’ ‘It’s going to be crowded and uncomfortable’…etc.
Similarly, it’s deceptively simple to find excuses for not marketing, regardless of how much we say we want more clients. ‘I am a professional, not a salesman.’ ‘They will probably not take my call.’ ‘I would rather write.’ … etc.
Very early in my musical challenge, I started to hear myself make excuses for not making the trek to one performance or another. When I started to beat these excuses into submission, they seemed to retaliate with taunts of ‘…yeah, but you’ve made the same kinds of excuses about not marketing.’
Once again, time for an attitude adjustment.
April 30, 2012
As a personal spring tune-up I have set 2 goals to be achieved by June 30, 2012:
- To attract 5 or more new clients;
- To lose 1 inch or more, off my waist.
I have a plan to achieve each of these goals.
However, from my experience I know that in dealing with challenges like this, it’s much easier with the support of others.
As confident as I am about achieving these goals, I’d like your help in achieving them.
Join The KISS Challenge
Here’s what I have in mind.
If like me, you would like either or both of more more clients and a healthier body, please join me in The KISS Challenge, Spring 2012. (For clarification, KISS stands for Keep It Short & Simple)
Consistent with the philosophy of keeping it short & simple, here is how you join.
- Go to the Facebook page that I have created.
- Post 1 business goal and 1 personal goal that you want to achieve before June 30, 2012.
- Starting next week, make at least 1 weekly post reporting on your progress. Ideally your post will include any or all of your feelings, insights, observations, questions and concerns.
Support The KISS Challenge
If you are not interested in joining the challenge, that’s fine.
I, and other participants, would appreciate your support. Here’s how you can be supportive:
- recognize individual achievements
- offer helpful and factual information
- spread the word of the challenge, by liking and sharing the Facebook
- anything else that you can do to help participants achieve their goals.
And now the big question is how are we going to celebrate our achievements on July 1.
April 10, 2012
After almost three months in Nicaragua, I am back at home base.
Although primarily intended to avoid the worst of winter, the 3-month stint was a rich and unexpected learning experience.
Strange as it sounds, one of my best learning experiences was in the area of computer trouble-shooting.
In Nicaragua, Internet service was reasonably reliable. But occasionally there was a computer problem of one kind or another. Given the limited computer resources in the country, my best option was to try to figure out the problem and fix it on my own.
Happily, I was able to get things sorted out and get on with my work. One on occasion, I was the designated computer technician in the hotel. Strange but true.
Turned out that this experience in Nicaragua was good training for my return home. I spent most of yesterday trouble-shooting a series of problems with the wireless network at home. Not exactly what I had in mind for my first day back.
I consider myself more a content provider than a techie. But successfully trouble-shooting several computer issues sure gave my ego a boost.
Motivational and efficiency experts alike tell us to focus on what we do best … and delegate the rest. That is sound advice that when followed will surely help lead to success.
But realistically, for those of us who work alone, whether at home or in a distant warm climate, do not always always have the delegation option readily available. In many cases, we ourselves must do whatever it takes to trouble-shoot a problem so we can and get on with what we do best.
It’s times like those that I am grateful for the resourcefulness that helped solve the computer issues in Nicaragua … and here at home.
Now I can get on with the work that I enjoy most and do best…producing content.
March 21, 2012
The road to better results is yours…and yours alone…to develop and follow to achieve your desired results.
Developing Your Road To Better Results
When building physical roads, designers and engineers start with a sound plan.
As well as incorporating a strong foundation for the road, this plan also details the strategies that the construction people will follow in creating the road.
The same considerations apply when developing your own road to better results.
Three essential factors contribute to the effectiveness of your road.
1. Your Values
Your core values serve as the foundation for your road.
Note that there are three kinds of values to consider:
- core values that define your success
- core values that will help you succeed
- core values that will help attract new clients
2. Your Goals
Your goals define your desired results. These are the better results that you would like to achieve.
In setting your goals, make sure that they are as smart as you are.
3. Your Plan
If you are looking for better marketing results, your road to these results is based on your marketing action plan.
This means that when you are planning your your road to better results, you can use your personal marketing plan as your blueprint for achieving these results.
You will of course want to revise your personal marketing plan to reflect the specific actions that you will be taking to improve your results.
March 19, 2012
A Different Kind Of Ladder
A ladder of achievement represents a series of achievements in which each achievement is based on the achievements that went before it.
It’s part of our evolutionary process to move from one stage to another….from crawling to walking and so on.
In many respects, professional service marketing is a natural process.
It is however, not a process that happens automatically.
Effective marketing requires proper planning.
Successfully moving up your marketing achievement ladder requires a personal marketing plan that has been carefully developed and conscientiously implemented.
A personal growth plan will help keep you focused on ensuring progress to achieving better results from your professional service marketing.
Personal growth is the planned process that enables us to develop and enhance the resources we need to achieve our goals.
As a planned process, your plan includes customary elements of planning.
Typically, these elements include:
1. clearly defined goals
- remember that the best planning starts with the end in mind
- it is also important to remember that your goals reflect your personal definition of achievement
2. current assessment
- in a personal growth plan, this assessment identifies opportunities for improvement…areas in which personal changes must be made and significant progress achieved
3. implementation strategies
- these strategies define specific actions to be taken, with an appropriate time-frame