What ringtone would your clients have for you?
Throughout 2016 we were regularly asked by clients on our programmes: How can we make our firm stand out from the competition? How can we get new clients to buy from us and how can we get our existing clients to refer more contacts to us?
The key is this: it doesn’t matter why you think you are different or why you think clients buy from you. All that matters is what the client thinks.
Your firm’s difference, uniqueness and strength is in the mind of the beholder; it is a function of the client, not your professional services firm. To get new clients and to get existing clients to refer more business you need to have a clear understanding of the client’s perspective of your firm. What do they really think of you? What do they admire or dislike? Why do they buy from you and why do they (or don’t they) refer you to their own contacts?
In order to get our participants to really think about their clients’ perspectives we often run an exercise with them:
If your clients had a ringtone for you (or your firm) what would it be? Would there be a difference between the ringtone you thought they had and the one they actually have?
Try it for yourself. Ask your clients what ringtone they would choose. It is an excellent way to try to understand the mind of your clients and their perspective of your firm.
Below we have put together a few examples of ringtones professional services advisors might think their clients have for them and the ringtone their clients might actually have. We would love to get some of your own examples so please let us know in the comments section below. To turn the tables, we have also put together a few ringtones you might have for some of your own clients…
What the consultant thinks the client’s ringtone is:
“Nobody does it better…”
“You’re simply the best…”
“Like a bridge over troubled water…”
“You make my dreams come true”
“God knows what I’d be without you…”
“We have all the time in the world…”
“Where everybody knows your name…”
“Every little thing she does is magic…”
“I’ve got my mind set
What the client’s ringtone
“Everyday I love you less and less…”
“You’re so vain”
“We’re on a road to nowhere…”
“I want to break free”
“He’s Misstra Know-It-All”
“Money, Money, Money…”
“Stuck in a moment I can’t get out of…”
“You’re the devil in disguise…”
“We can’t go on together with suspicious minds…”
On the other hand: Ringtones you may have for some of your own clients…
“You can’t always get what you want…”
“Money’s too tight to mention…”
“You don’t bring me flowers anymore…”
“I want it all…”
“I am the one and only…”
“I want to break free…”
Commentators and fans are lauding them for their efforts, and competitors aspire to reach the same levels of success.
Sadly, a large proportion cannot accept that this level of success is possible. Instead they have decided and are happy to decree that Team Sky, and Chris Froome in particular, must be cheating.
In reality, the best firms don’t need to cheat. There is no secret formula. When you look deeper, the reasons for their success are clear.
The best organisations (and sports teams) in the world have a deep-rooted value set that drives all behaviours. Everyone shares the same values and works towards a common objective. Successful firms believe in doing things the right way…
You are a successful professional services organisation and have a proven track record. Why then, would you question your client management?
Maybe your client has started to suffer from ‘consultant fatigue’ having undertaken numerous consultancy projects over the last year and now feels that using more consultants will lead them to be criticised for their management of resources?
Perhaps this scenario sounds familiar to you: Your client has decided to postpone the next phase of a proposal and there are the usual excuses for the postponement – they now plan to go out to tender, next year the budget will not be there, there is no rush. The problem for you is that, if they delay, you know your client will struggle to get continuity of consultants.
What practical steps could you take to stop this standstill and get the best outcome?
PSfPS have created this checklist that you can download to help you benchmark your current practices, processes and procedures of client management against best practice…
The perceived reality in the minds of many clients is that all accountants/lawyers/consultants offer pretty much the same services, in the same markets with the same outputs.
When you see the examples in this article from real proposal documents, it’s easy to see why this view is held.
Importantly, your personal brand also represents the organisation you work for.
These ‘LinkedIn Out Loud” videos put together by production company Joseph & Joseph show a collection of how not to set your personal brand on LinkedIn…
- “I run towards fires”
- “I’m not the boss. There’s only one boss and that’s Mr customer”
- “Welcome to a window into the life of me”
- “I don’t go with the flow – that’s for fish”
- “I’m not racist”
You can watch all the videos here…