Identify Your Base and Build on Your Strengths: Part 2
With 10% as our growth target, it is time to get busy. You should now have a list all of your clients, and I want you to now categorize them into three specific tiers. For the sake of simplicity, we will refer to them as “A,” “B,” and “C.”
The “A’s” represent important clients you would die for. These clients should not represent more than 10% of your entire list. These are your real gems …the ones you would cancel your vacation plans for keep happy.
“C’s” also should represent about 10% of your list. These accounts are customers who will provide a decent profit, but do not turn you on when you hear their names.
The “B” category contains about 80% of your entire list. These are the customers who need attention on a regular basis. They do not generate the excitement that “A’s” do but they do get your attention. This category also has the potential to make “A’s” for any one of a dozen reasons.
Now that you have a better idea of whom you’re working with, you can begin to plan your future a little more accurately.
The first step without exception is to contact each and every client on your “A” list and thank them for their business. This can be accomplished with a telephone call, email, note card, or letter.
Regardless of your chosen method, I am not asking you to consider this exercise. As someone who cares about your success I am respectfully telling you to do it. You cannot afford to lose any client on your A-list due to laziness or procrastination. (There are just three things in your life that you can control without exception: 1. You do not have to run out of gas. 2. You do not have to get a speeding ticket. And 3. you do not have to lose a customer for lack of gratitude).
I get too many phone calls asking for help once an important client drops you like a bad penny. The solution is not to provide an opportunity for your competition to have their day in court. Nail your relationship down with old fashion courtesy. (When was last time your hairdresser wrote you to simply say thanks? Your grocer? Your banker? Your florist? Your baker? The druggist? Your local gas station owner? Anybody?) When was the last time you thanked one of your clients?
After contacting your “A” list you can begin to do the same with your “B” list. I suggest you pick up some postcards and begin moving in this direction at once.
Once you have updated your position by saying thank you to those customers who are important to you, you can begin to explore new avenues for generating new business. Never, never, never, begin to venture out into uncharted waters without making certain that your lifeline is sound. In this case, your lifeline is your current list of satisfied customers. Don’t agree with me. Start contacting.
Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive a complimentary invitation send Mike an email with the phrase “AmaWaterways” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.
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