The Competitive Advantage
February 18, 2020
True story: Over the past two weeks, four different firms reached to me to ask about our services and how we might best work together. What makes this a bit unusual is that – at some point in the past – I had a relationship with every one of these firms.Continue Reading
February 2, 2020
STORY 1: I recently reconnected with an old friend who owns a large B2B publishing company, producing very targeted industrial magazines. As part of their service to advertisers, they also produce a number of vertical trade shows (aligned with those magazines).
When I asked about his publishing business, he said that it was doing fine… but then he added, “The trade shows are growing like crazy!”Continue Reading
January 14, 2020
We’ve all heard the phrase, “People do business with people they like.” And while that’s true, I think it goes even deeper that. Try this one, instead… “All things being equal, people do business with people they like. All things NOT being equal, people STILL do business with people they like.” Or stated another way, “Clients don’t fire their friends.”Continue Reading
December 17, 2019
I had a really interesting week last week. Over a 3-day period, I met in-person with five different clients and former clients… and while every conversation was a little bit about business, each became more about their lives and what’s important to them. Things that are far more important than the top line or the bottom line.Continue Reading
November 26, 2019
It’s almost Thanksgiving… and a tradition around many dining room tables, before anyone digs into their turkey and dressing, is to go around the table and have everyone their say out loud what they’re thankful for. It’s a nice way to share something personal and to remind us all how fortunate we are for the things in our life.
So, with that as the backdrop, I’d like to take a minute to share what I’m thankful for regarding my business…Continue Reading
October 22, 2019
We had clients visit us in our offices last week. These in-person meetings are a fairly rare occurrence in today’s ‘connected’ world. Aside my ‘road trips,’ most client get-togethers happen by phone or, maybe, video chat. And while those calls are always productive, they still leave me feeling a little disconnected.
So, when this client said they wanted to come to Nashville to meet, we got really excited.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