One of the biggest mistakes you can make on the inside of your business (that will cause great frustration while it continues to remain unidentified) is trying to dictate to your clients what you want for them, rather than simply listening to what they want, and doing your best to deliver that.
Great service businesses become great, by serving their clients.
I know it sounds simple (which is why it’s probably so often overlooked), but you must find out what value looks like for your client and do everything you can to provide that for them.
Some clients KNOW exactly what to do, and even HOW to do it, but they aren’t sure how to hold themselves accountable or they need someone to keep them on track with their pre-defined strategy.
In this case, they don’t need education, or strategy, or your help to switch their game plan…they just need someone to check-in and hold them accountable to their word.
Let’s look at another example that’s the opposite of the above.
You may work with a client who is able to hold themselves accountable to their word, but doesn’t have the education or the game plan to actually follow. In this case, they are going to highly value your help in working out how to get them from point A to point B, but they’re going to require a lot less attention for accountability.
I have a saying: ‘Don’t spend your clients’ value dollars for them.’ What I mean by this, is each and every client sees value in completely different ways. And it’s wise to identify exactly what that is for them.
Here are some big ones:
They want your accountability and for you to keep them on track.
They want a strategy to execute.
They need tools and tactics to get the job done at an actionable level.
They want to meet others in a similar space and not feel so alone.
They want to fill up their tank with information and education to go back and implement what they’ve learned.
There is a great book by best selling author, Gary Chapman, called “The Five Love Languages” (maybe you’ve read it?). Inside, Chapman talks about the five types of ways that we show love to our partner. They are: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, gift giving, and quality time.
The biggest caveat of all of this however, (and one of the main purposes of the book), is to highlight to the reader, that often the way we show love, is how WE like to receive love…which is not necessarily how the other person likes to receive it.
For example, just because you love receiving gifts, doesn’t mean others do. Sometimes they just love to spend time with you.
Well…the same goes in business relationships. It’s always wise to discover exactly how the client sees value and get busy delivering that to them.
As you know, it’s 15 times cheaper to maintain a client relationship than it is to go out there and find a new one. It’s costly, time consuming and to be honest, not the most effective use of your time.
Take the time to sit down with a piece of paper and ask yourself how each of your top 10, 25 or 50 clients identify’s value (from their point of view), and then perform an honest appraisal of whether you are providing it to them or not.
In business, whether you’re aware of it or not, the client is continually asking themselves: “is this person delivering on their promise…or not?”
With the modern day client, there is no grey area.
If you know you are, keep it up, if not, maybe it’s time to make a switch.
I hope that helps.