How to create a unique and distinct market advantage through your existing clients
This question saved an international chemicals company $50 million in lost sales from their biggest customer.
Do we have a known, understood, practised and proven plan for customer growth and client relationship success?
This may seem like an obvious question but it isn’t. We can often make the dangerous assumption that because our clients are paying us that means we matter.
In a world where almost every industry is facing disruption through digital, global change and new client expectations for service. How you get to significant growth and continued long term loyalty with your clients has shifted.
For legal practices of all sizes this is no different…
Disruption in legal is real and your clients need the certainty not just of your expertise but also who you could become to them in the future. This begins with three things.
1. Understanding your client expectations for valuse and partnership
2. Creating a value plan that deepens influence, loyalty and sales
3. Developing the disciplines and skills to execute that plan for growth
Simple action 1 - Expectation
I had a chilling realisation as I walked into the room of one of my biggest clients in 2014. We’d been working together for almost 3 years. We’d made good money and had decent results with them. We hadn’t determined something critical. I now call it the expectation of practice and importance.
Expectation of practice -The clients purchase promise of the challenge, problem you solve and solution you bring.
Expectation of importance - Who you are to them today in the relationship and the priority of access you hold based on the value you deliver to them and the business.
We had delivered on practice but overestimated how important we were. Never assume courtesy of payment for emotional commitment.
Critical questions. what are the promises we’ve made to our customers that we have no over delivered on? What one area in the relationship to we want to become more important to? what is the actual relationship today and how do we move it forward?
Simple action 2 - Value
Imagine for a moment you have a map. This map shows you exactly where you are on one side and a bright red square on the other side ...the end destination. The challenge is there are no clear signs, roads or indications to the best route to get there. All you have are lots of vague lines, jumbled words and decisions that might produce a result but aren’t getting you further.
Unfortunately that is what many businesses experience and do when it comes to existing client growth. We know where we are because they’ve purchased a particular service from us. We may even have a vague idea of what we’d like to achieve.
Many companies haven’t worked out how to get there.
Critical question: Where is your client today? where do they want to go? and where will there need to go next? answer this and you’ll have a clearer roadmap to serve them in a more dynamic way.
Simple action 3 - Discipline
Understanding the psychology and behaviour that drives how we experience relationships, value and loyalty is more critical than ever. This ultimately puts you in a distinct advantage to provide superior client value and create unique strategies for customer growth.
We need to exercise the disciplines that help activate new client growth results.
Critical question: What skills, behaviours and mindset would we need to shift or change to achieve the result you want with your clients?
Whether you’re a mid sized firm with just a few clientele or a large global player. Retention is no more you have to choose to become irreplaceable.
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