Ideal Clients…Partners In Your Professional Service Business
August 14, 2012
Clearly, ideal clients are ready, willing and able to pay us for our help in making the changes they want.
Provided we deliver the agreed services and expected value, clients pay the fees for our services as agreed.
However, ideal clients represent much more than just a revenue source.
Carefully qualified and effectively served, they fill the role of business partners.
All clients serve as windows on your market. Once you have attracted them as potential clients and helped them become actual clients, by duplicating the process, you can also attract other potential clients like them. Similarly, once you have satisfied individual clients, you can also satisfy others like them. After you have served clients to their satisfaction, ask them about how to connect with other people like them.
But don’t stop there. Change is a constant in today’s marketplace. The next time clients want your help they may well need something different. As part of helping them with their current issue, ask about the kinds of personal and business changes they anticipate in the next few years.
Along with providing clients with your customary high quality service, invite your clients to help with your market research. They can help you listen to your market, which in turn will help you continue to attract and serve more and better clients.
Client Seal of Approval
By hiring you, clients demonstrate that you are likable and that they consider you to be trustworthy and competent.
When you have satisfied them…or even better, exceeded their expectations and delivered a memorable experience…they will happily and voluntarily sing your praises.
In combination, these two factors represent a fabulous seal of approval for you and your services.
From a marketing perspective, your seal of approval is known as an endorsement or testimonial.
Regardless of what you call this two-factor combination, it’s a powerful combination that will help you attract more business for your business. Appropriately used, client testimonials can confirm that you are a good person with whom to do business. They are objective third party confirmation that you are likeable, trustworthy and competent, reassuring potential clients that you can help them.
New Business Catalyst
Once you have helped clients, you can probably help them again. Similarly, satisfied clients are usually happy to recommend you and refer others to you.
But repeat and referral business are not automatic; they can’t be taken for granted. To help clients act as catalysts for new business, we have to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. This will help remind them of how we helped them in the past and that we remain ready, willing and able to help them and other people like them.
Professional Skills Practice and Improvement
The world’s best musicians practice their skills every day. Louis Armstrong once explained that if he didn’t practice for one day, he knew it. If he missed two days’ practice, the critics knew it. And if he missed practicing for three days, the public knew it.
As service professionals few of us need to practice our skills daily. On the other hand, we are subject to the ‘use-it or lose-it’ phenomenon. The longer we go without using our skills, the less effective we become.
In serving clients, we have the opportunity to practice our professional skills. And the more we practice our skills, the better we become at using them. And as we get better at what we do, we also improve our ability to attract new clients.
To learn more about ideal clients, see Ideal Clients Do More Than Pay The Bills.