How To Be Client-CentricDec 28, 2021
When you make decisions about your business, who are you thinking of? Most business owners are looking out for themselves. And this is only natural. As we’ve discussed before, 80% of the businesses in any industry are barely making it. They split amongst themselves only 20% of a given industry’s revenue. This majority is either living payroll to payroll, or they are broke.
That’s the bad news. And that is why most business owners who are in survival mode are only thinking of themselves. It reminds me of when I was in survival mode, but for a much different reason. I came home from work for almost 15 years (from age 25 to nearly 40) and started drinking. I would isolate myself in the garage, my marriage was completely dysfunctional, and I was so unsettled internally.
Once I acknowledged I was an alcoholic, I started going to AA meetings and learned a phrase that has set me on a completely different course: “When I’m with you, I’m not with me.” Duh. That’s obvious, right? Nope – it took me 15 years of numbing out my pain to figure it out. I realized that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. For me, addiction was very lonely. I felt so isolated. So disconnected. I only focused on my struggles and my survival.
You might ask, “What in the world does all of that have to do with being client-centric??” Everything! The reason why 80% of your experiences with businesses are less than amazing is because the owner (and their team) are not focused on the client. They are in survival mode. And it is almost impossible to positively contribute to others when you are in survival mode. The best those businesses can hope for is a successful transaction, but they will never have strong relationships with their clients.
Relationships require a connection. Connection occurs when you add value to someone else’s life. And that does not happen when you are in survival mode. Personal or professional survival mode. It is the most dangerous place to be, and it often becomes a death spiral for either the business or the person.
Alright, now for the good news. There are two primary ways to ascend from survival mode (your business is tight to make payroll or rent) – and that is 1) marketing or 2) acquisition of another company. The challenge is that if you are just barely surviving, it will be tough to acquire a loan for an acquisition. But marketing can be done more efficiently and less expensively.
And once you get out of survival mode, you can focus on your clients first by adding more value than they expect. And that is the real trick to being in the top 20% of any industry. You ALWAYS put the clients’ needs in front of your own or the needs of the business. And all of that goodwill you are putting out is returned to you with strong financial returns. That is how the top 20% operate.
If you find yourself barely making it, push yourself to be led by your clients and what they want. Become their trusted advisor by over-delivering and always put their needs and wants first! Once you are seen as their trusted advisor, your best clients will let you lead them, and that is when you can provide all of your solutions that you know are valuable to them.
There is nothing more rewarding than having a business that is inspired and directed by their top clients. It changes everything.
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