The Competitive Advantage
June 11, 2019
We like to think that all clients are important… and they are. Our goal is to do good work for all clients and deliver a high level of service to each of them… and we strive for that every day.
But the fact is… your large clients are more important than your small clients!Continue Reading
June 3, 2019
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about how the clients of small businesses aren’t just buying the products or services of that business, they’re buying the owner of that business, too.
If you believe in that premise, then, as a small business owner (or senior leader), you need to understand that your ‘reputation’ is a critical component in the success of your firm.
In this post, we’ll outline several different ways to help build your reputation and position yourself as someone that potential buyers will want to do business with.Continue Reading
May 27, 2019
… an ‘About Us’ section?
You know, those 3-4 (or more) PowerPoint slides about your firm – all of the great services you provide and your incredible staff back at the office. Most sales decks do. But here’s the problem with that…
The potential buyers listening to your sales presentation DON’T CARE!!
Sorry to spring it on you like that… but they really don’t! Those bleary-eyed prospects sitting around the conference table don’t care because they already know about you firm. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t be at the table in the first place.
So, skip the self-congratulatory platitudes and use your time at the head of the table to answer the one question everyone in the room is asking…Continue Reading
May 22, 2019
… it only matters what your clients & prospects think.
I recently stumbled across an online article from the Harvard Business Review, and though it’s several years old, its message is as true today as it ever was… maybe more so:
“Most companies are the centers of their own universes. It’s a natural enough impression; after all, the products and services they offer are on their minds 24/7. The trap is in those companies deluding themselves into thinking that they are as important to their customers as they are to themselves. This is almost never the case. This delusion interferes with understanding customers and their needs, and frequently leads companies to talk to customers in ways that seem foreign or confusing.”
The author sure hit the nail on the head with that one… that myopic perspective – that so many business leaders have – has been the cause of more business failures than virtually any other issue.Continue Reading
May 5, 2019
Like me, many of you are small business owners… proud of what you’ve built and of what you’re doing. But the fact is, regardless of how slick your technology, how well constructed your processes or how professional your [small] team… your clients are buying YOU! They know the risks of doing business with a small firm (remember “No one ever got fired for hiring IBM!”?)… but they’re willing to take a chance. Why? Because of you.Continue Reading
April 30, 2019
Admit it… you’re losing clients occasionally. Not a happy topic, but it happens to all of us. The question is ‘why?’
On the surface, there are any number of reasons:
- You screwed up a project… it hurts, but sometimes it happens.
- You pi**ed-off a key client contact… not intentionally, but communications can go awry.
- There was a massive change in the client’s business… e.g. they restructured the division you were working with, they were acquired or maybe they even closed their doors for good.
- One of your competitors showed up with a “shiny new penny”… a new methodology or a new technology that had a ‘wow’ factor.
- A new ‘leader’ was hired at the client, bringing his/her own favorite vendors along.
- The project ended. Not all client work can be recurring or happen on a frequent basis.
Every one of those reasons is real and legitimate, but none are the most common.Continue Reading
April 16, 2019
Does your firm subscribe to the seller-doer model for business development? That is, are there leaders and managers in your firm who, in addition to their primary roles, are also tasked with responsibility for revenue growth? If you answered ‘yes,’ then your firm is like the vast majority of others… the seller-doer model is, by far, the most prevalent sales structure in professional services industries like ours.Continue Reading
April 9, 2019
Taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves to you is a proven path to success. But if you really want to succeed – and shut the door in the face of your competition – then solve a problem before they do.
And here’s what got me thinking about this…Continue Reading