As you may have noticed over the last five years, I've occasionally sent you something of a passionate plea like the one that follows. I'm officially calling it "Clarity Break Thought" in an attempt to remind you to take a Clarity Break and to also give you something to ponder during it. I hope you enjoy it.
I'm thrilled to announce that my clients finished 2011 very strong. Hopefully this is a sign that things are economically turning for the better. As we now look to 2012, I'd like you to consider making 2012 the year of the client.
This may not mean what you think. One of the most exciting milestones in the process with my clients is when they get the confidence to start looking at their customers and firing the ones that are non-core.
This may be shocking to you as many companies are fighting to get clients and can barely hang on to the ones they already have. However, I'd like to shift and challenge your thinking with the following seven-step thought process:
- Consider defining the criteria of your ideal client. I'm urging you to think about your best customers and what attracts you to them and them to you. Here are mine: open-minded, respectful, entrepreneurial, and want help. My clients must have these traits or I won't work with them. Life's too short to work with anyone else.
- Make sure your marketing/sales message and approach are consistent in getting those types of customers. For instance, if you're mass marketing and warm referrals is the best way to reach them, you're going down the wrong path and need to consider recalibrating your energy and resources.
- Create a flowchart or scorecard and analyze all of your current clients against the criteria.
- Take the worst twelve and call them the Dirty Dozen and do one of the three things with each:
- Fire them
- Raise fees
- Get them to play nice and become less of a hassle
Once you clean them up, go to the next twelve, or "Dirty Dozen."
- If you kept your current revenue the exact same, but it was 100 percent composed on clients who meet your newly defined criteria, would you be more profitable? Would you have fewer issues? Would you be happier?
- Remember that like attracts like. People tend to do business with, refer, and hang out with similar minded people, so you will get more of what you've got.
- Start the clock today. In time, you should look up and find yourself much happier, more profitable, and with fewer hassles, as many of my clients do.
I'm also excited to announce the release of the new expanded version of Traction on April 1 and the release of my new book Get a Grip! with co-author Mike Paton in October. Thanks for all of your support. Let me know if we can help.