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Your "A" & "B" Clients Deserve More of Your Time and Focus!!

Do you experience the 'Too Many Clients, Not Enough Money' syndrome? Most of us are familiar with the Pareto Principle, or the “80/20 rule”.

This principle has wide application in many areas of life, especially business. Many business owners have validated this principle when it comes to their business - that typically 80% of their business comes from 20% of their Clients.

In many cases, they are losing money on“the other”80% of their Client base that only represents 20% of your revenue. I'm sure you can easily rattle off a list of Client names that consistently complain about everything, service isn’t good enough, prices aren’t low enough, they consume too much of your time and take way too long to pay. I often refer to these Clients as “PITA Clients”, or “Pain-in-the-A _ _ Clients”.

Interestingly enough, this 80% of Clients - likely accounts for 80% of your outstanding AR issues, general and administrative expenses, labor costs, etc.

I frequently hear, "It's hard to get good Clients." It's actually not hard. It is just that most business owners and managers have not been taught how to attract the right Clients. How do you build a practice or business that serves your “Raving Fans” as a base?

Having the wrong Client can drain the life energy out of you, leaving you with little time to work ON your business (a topic I’ve extolled before). After all, how many hours do you spend each year learning about new products or services that your business could offer? How many hours do you spend learning about better sales and marketing strategies? How many hours do you spend on strategic planning?

You'll probably find your potential for success and increased profitability is limited by your

endless focus on trying to satisfy the high demands of the 80%. Your PITA Clients.

So, here's how you can start down the path to attracting Raving Fan Clients and get some of that valuable time and energy back.

First, define your Ideal Client.

A great exercise for doing this is to picture in your mind your best Client. What are their characteristics and values? What business are they in? What makes it such a pleasure to have them as your Client? What's unique and special about them? What problems do they have that your product or service easily removes? Write down every descriptive word that comes to mind. The more precise you can be, the better you’ll be able to define your Ideal Client. You must also be clear about your own vision, mission and cultural values.

As an example, Nordstrom is synonymous in the retail industry for exceptional Client service - and for good reason - they have a very precise mission - Not service like it used to be, but service that never was. A place where service is an act of faith.

Second, determine what makes a Client profitable and at what point do they become a cost to your business.

Your Clients can be classified as A, B, C and D- with A's and B's being profitable, C's somewhat neutral, and D's being an expense to do business with. Your A and B Clients are enjoyable to do business with, pay well, and really understand the value proposition your business offers.

C Clients are basically good Clients that may be a bit on the “high maintenance side, may need a nudge to get their payment in on time, are slow to respond to requests or opportunities. They may be “too busy” IN their business to be a partner with you in your mutual relationship.

D Clients are just about the opposite. They consistently pay late, change their minds or appointments, expect miracles in turnaround times, haggle for discounts and ultimately create far too much stress. They generally are a “pain” to do business with, or as I say, “they tend to suck the marrow from your bones”.

As a rule of thumb, when you start this review, most Small Business Owners have about 20 percent of your Client base being 'A' grade, about 40 percent being 'B' grade, 30 percent being 'C' grade and 10 percent being 'D', or PITA grade.

Once your Clients have been defined into four classes, the A's and B's should receive a letter of appreciation, telling them they are your best Clients and encouraging their continued patronage. Celebrate your successes, and your successful Clients! With them!!

Your ‘C’ Clients should be given the opportunity to see how you’re A and B Clients perform, (Testimonials) and given a chance to conform to the Team that can benefit both sides of the Client / Provider relationship. You may need to conduct a Business Review with you C Clients and share the value you bring, and how they need to change their behavior to continue to reap those rewards.

The D's should be sent a letter explaining the situation, and encouraging them to become A and B Clients by making it clear what you expect from them in return for your products or services. If there is no change from a C or D Client after a couple of more contacts, you should find a way to cease doing business with them.

They should be referred to another business that may be able to better meet their 'requirements' and 'politely' discouraged from buying your product or service. Maybe not respond to their next request-for-proposal or contract renewal.

While this process may seem painful - in the long run you’ll sleep much easier and be able to refocus all the energy and resources those “PITA” Clients absorbed, into retaining and attracting those “Raving Fan” Clients.

Now it's up to you to … Take Action!! 

To learn more about how Coach Jay can assist you in building a high performance Strategic Alliance networking group, contact Coach Jay for a Complimentary Coaching Session today.   A 60-minute session with Coach Jay to begin the process of moving your Dreams to the Results you deserve.   Don’t delay!! 

Remember, my goal is to help you THRIVE not merely SURVIVE!
We “Guarantee” our results!!  Contact Jay for a Complimentary Coaching Session (CCS) to show how Coaching is “self-funding” through bottom-line impact in 17-weeks or less.  Guaranteed!!  CoachJay@ACofOC.com , or call my cell at (949) 422-1167.  Don’t WASTE any more of your most precious resource, Your Time!!

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