|June 29, 2021||Comments Closed|
A client asked me an interesting question the other day:
‘What is the secret that enables some firms to produce superior organic growth results consistently, while others seem to struggle?’
In my experience, it’s all about the having the right objectives – about having in mind a precise number for surpassing the previous year’s results in three important areas: New business, Client retention and Client development.
This objective focuses on attracting new clients by selling your services to prospects. Clients can move on, go out of business, or just stop working with you for a variety of reasons.
Top professionals refresh their clientele by adding new clients who are clones of their best clients. They have a new business process that enables them to work from within their comfort zone. They maximise their efforts while minimising the time required to keep the new business pipeline flowing.
This objective focuses on the continuation of services to desirable clients you cannot afford to lose. A client saved is client earned.
Top professionals categorise their clients and have different service level standards for each.
Average professionals often make the mistake of trying to treat all clients equally. This usually happens at the expense of their best clients, who are then under-serviced and leave for a competitor.
This objective focuses on increasing sales of current services to your existing clients.
Top professionals believe all clients should be 100% full-time clients. They seek ways to add value by developing a process to help clients identify their needs, and providing a clear way to meet them.
Average professionals often have too many part-time clients. Some might have relationships with other providers and, worse, some have unrecognized needs that remain unfulfilled.
Achieving your objectives
Producing solid growth results is not complicated, but it is difficult. You need to set clear objectives and have precise target numbers for New business, Client retention, and Client development.
Here are some guidelines:
Establish objectives that surpass the previous year’s results for the number of new clients and revenue
Translate these numbers into activities and actions for every professional in your business.
Use the ABC method to categorise every client. Your category A and B clients should represent the 20% of clients that generate 80% of revenues
Your goal should be 100% retention of your A and B clients. Set realistic objectives based on where you are today. If the past year’s retention rate was 80%, set your sights on 90%. When you have achieved that, your new goal should be 95%.
Audit every category A and B client to identify any additional needs and review professional relationships
Create a client service plan for each client, including annual and mid-term reviews to explore and discuss their additional needs.
As an objective, set up an annual review date for every top client.
Producing consistent growth results is a matter of having a mix of growth strategies – for example:
a) New business 50%
b) Client retention 25%
c) Client development 25%
Each year, adjust your growth mix to your objectives, in line with a changing environment.
Take a proactive method to produce consistent growth.