Over the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing how important it is to rate everyone who comes in to contact with your business as either a +1 or -1. They’re either helping you move forward or they are holding you back.
Today, I want to continue along the same theme, but this time with a focus on two other key areas in your business that have a huge impact on your performance and productivity: your suppliers and your clients.
Suppliers are backing you to grow so that you keep on buying more from them. Great suppliers bring much value to your business.
When you think about your supply chain, they also are either +1 or –1. You can also be scouting 365 days a year for suppliers. You must still be on the lookout even when things are going okay, because you never know what might happen next.
Perform appraisals on your current suppliers. Get 360-degree feedback.
What could we be doing better here? What are you guys doing? It’s all about collaboration and working with your suppliers rather than against them. It’s about alignment.
Ask them how you could help them grow your business better? What an awesome conversation!
You both have a common theme and common goals. How can you be more effective and efficient together?
For you to achieve high levels of productivity, your clients also need to pull their weight. In most cases, it’s the human element that lets you down. For example, for me to achieve success with my clients they need to put in the effort and take ownership for what we discuss and agree that we will do – if they don’t do that there’s nothing I can do to help.
‘Going to’ isn’t going to cut it. You need people who just ‘do’. That’s your target market.
When you are clear about your product and what it does, you can find the target audience that’s going to bring it home and nail it. You can wait for growth but you can’t wait for opportunities – you have to reach out and grab them.
There are potential clients out there who are ready to invest their time and money – it’s your job to make sure they do it with you. Are you giving your clients the return on investment they are after?
This is the value proposition for your business. With the number of options available to people these days, now more than ever it’s a go to market not a wait for market. The moment you own this and wear it like a glove it’s game on and you are winning.
It is also vital to build a business that learns to say no to its non-desired market.
You must be valued by and attractive to the target market you serve. You can only truly unleash the power of your customers once you get out of the way of your business. This means playing the game with an attitude of abundance, not scarcity.
Your aim should be to build a business where 80% of your customers are ideal and contribute directly to your profits. You want to be there for them today, next year and in 10 years’ time.
Spending time with non-ideal clients is a huge opportunity cost – you could be spending your time much more profitably. People who are not in your target market are unlikely to become repeat customers, so think carefully about how – or if – you serve them.
If I’m spending all of my time trying to motivate a client who doesn’t want to help himself, I’m missing out on time with a client who really does want to move things forward. This is most definitely not being productive, for me or my clients.
In my experience over the past 20-plus years in building small businesses for myself and as a globally acclaimed business coach, I have come to understand the power of investing in ideal customers – the ones your business deserves.
Embrace the culture of doing whatever it takes to keep them for life. This is the real ethos of customer service, taking action to create value for someone else with a big smile. This leads to loyalty, which leads to repeat business.
Even more valuable than that is referral business, which is at the heart of the most profitable businesses in the world today.
(If you haven’t already, download our White Paper on how to build an effective referral strategy in your business. It includes a 7 Step Guide to Effective Referrals.)
Power to you!
Founder, CEO - Business Benchmark Group
Could you use some guidance to run a more successful business? Contact Business Benchmark Group - we offer free workshops so you can "test drive" our coaching with no obligation whatsoever.
Call 03 9001 0878 today, or get in touch through our website.
Stefan Kazakis on 5 May 2018
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