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The Competitive Advantage

tag: Relationships

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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November 26, 2019

9 Things I’m Thankful for at Work 

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…

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October 22, 2019

There is Nothing That Rivals In-Person Meetings for Deepening Client Relationships

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.

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May 5, 2019

As a Small Business Owner, Your Clients are Buying YOU!

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.

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