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The Competitive Advantage

tag: Relationships

February 16, 2021

The #1 Reason Why You Lose Clients? Arrogance!

why you lose clientsSure, there are a lot of reasons why you lose clients… you messed up a project or a competitor dramatically under cut your prices or your key contact left the company. But the #1 reason why you lose clients is ‘arrogance.’

You assume that your good work is enough to solidify your relationship with the buyer. It isn’t.

You assume that your good work will keep you top-of-mind with clients. It won’t.

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September 30, 2020

Stop Selling… Start Helping!

I generally empty my spam folder every day, but for some reason, I had skipped a few days… and had a mountain of emails to be deleted.

As I was looking through them and getting ready to hit the ‘delete’ button, I noticed a consistent theme across all of them. Other than a couple of “I’m a barrister in Dubai I need your help to claim $20 million,” every single one of them was a hard sales pitch: SEO services, website design, app creation and so on and so on. And most from companies I had never heard of.

Even though this was my spam folder, I think there’s still a lesson here… if you want someone to take notice of you – in an email, over the phone or in person – stop selling and start helping. Or as one of my clients likes to say, “bring value to the relationship.”

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August 25, 2020

How to Build Trust with Buyers

One of the guiding principles of B2B sales is that ‘a buyer won’t buy from you until they get to know you… then like you… then trust you.” It can’t and it won’t happen any other way.

And of those, ‘trust’ is the most difficult to achieve. But ‘trust’ isn’t just about you. Your firm (and its staff and its services & products) also has to be trusted by the buyer. So, how can you help a buyer reach that level of trust in you and your firm?

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March 1, 2020

“But we’re a really good partner.”

3 Steps to True Big-Client Partnerships

I had a conversation last week with a friend of mine, the well-known CEO of a large market research firm. He was telling me about the time when he first joined his firm and, as part of his onboarding, reviewed their top 10 clients. One of them was a Fortune 100 company, a manufacturer of consumer food & beverage products… a brand known around the world. He was excited to learn that this company was his firm’s largest client and that his firm was a “good partner” to them.

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February 18, 2020

5 Reasons Why Former Clients Will Come Back to You

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.

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February 2, 2020

In Our Digital World, Do We ‘Crave’ the Human Touch?

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!”

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January 14, 2020

Clients Don’t Fire Their Friends

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.”

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December 17, 2019

Business is Just Business… Keep It in Perspective

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.

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