Since financial success (i.e. profit) ensures your business can stay open and running, most business owners naturally spend a great deal of time thinking about how they can make their own businesses more successful.
What most business owners often fail to consider is their clients success play a huge roll in their own success.
After all, if your clients are successful then they have the financial means to continue to support your business, which in turn brings you revenue. So your clients success leads to your business succeeding as well. Talk about a win-win!
When a company looks at clients as impersonal transactions, it’s easy for that relationship to devolve into one focused on how much money can be made from them with the least amount of time or effort spent.
But a company that believes their clients represent great relationships that can be both mutually beneficial (money for you and a valuable service for them) and long-term succeeds when its clients succeed.
Related: Web pro client relations 101: How to ensure satisfaction
Organic growth comes from a client-focused approach
Cindy Carson, the director of Customer Success at UserIQ, believes that the most successful clients are those who start off on the right footing, with tailored onboarding processes.
Her team even looks at each client’s user case for their software to fully understand how UserIQ can benefit them the most; then they provide segmented training that highlights the specifics that will help each customer gain wins.
Growth (in revenue and clients) often happens organically in this client-focused approach, based on realized profits, because even though you’re entirely focusing on clients success, the byproduct is growth in your client base from their slow and steady evolution into your sales force. As in, the projects you do for them keep them in business, and they, in turn, talk about the project to everyone they know.
Jeff Sheldon, who runs Ugmonk, a boutique clothing line for designers, is obsessed with quality—in both the products he creates and sells and the support his customers receive.
If a shirt doesn’t fit quite right or something is wrong with an order, he’ll ship a new shirt right away and not even require that the wrong order be sent back.
Because Ugmonk takes care of them, customers take care of Ugmonk by routinely posting links to the company on social media, with photos of them wearing Ugmonk clothes.
Sheldon receives a lot of free publicity from industry influencers and blogs (like the one you’re reading right now!) talking about Ugmonk and his obsession with the quality of his products. By helping his customers “win”, his business also wins.
Related: 16 tips to earn client referrals and create raving fans
Focusing on client success is a mentality
Focusing on client success is a mentality and a way of doing business for a company that encompasses all aspects of every project you take on.
It begins before a project is even started with a client, with discussions and planning to make sure everything is understood, will be done correctly and will meet the goals of the project. You have to ensure the best way that you work will help your clients succeed.
Some companies view some clients as too small to matter, especially when it comes to success. But if you take this view, you could wrongly assume that your clients situation or size won’t ever change.
After all, your own company could be focused on being better rather than bigger, so it could also be thought of as “too small to matter” by the companies where you’re a client of theirs. In adopting this sort of mindset, you lose sight of your own clients long-term strategic importance and loyalty.
Some of my own best clients who saw the most success in their work started out as what some could consider “small potatoes”. Think about it: a client who pays $500 a month for a service and sticks around for ten years is worth a lot more than a client who pays $1,000 a month but cancels your service after only a few months.
Related: Sell website maintenance services to grow your recurring revenue
Smaller businesses can also wield a lot of influence, since they can easily amass large followings on social media and massive mailing lists (both of which can be a huge help to your company with no need to grow a sales team).
Find the underlying reason why your client needs help
Finally, to be the most helpful to your clients, you sometimes have to look beyond the problems they’re presenting to you.
The underlying reason why clients are asking for help is often not obvious: sometimes they’re looking for specific answers, but sometimes they’re asking for help in an area without even being aware that’s what they’re doing.
Related: How to use a discovery phase to save your clients from themselves
For example, when I was a full-time web designer, clients would often want me to design a site that, in their words, would simply look great. Over time, though, I realized that wasn’t the main reason most clients wanted to hire me: what they really wanted was a site that would look great but mostly generate more revenue.
When I changed my sales pitch and began speaking about how good design could help a potential client achieve more profit, the number of projects I landed from sales calls more than doubled.
Listening to what your clients really need and then helping them succeed is the key for companies of one to succeed themselves in the long term.
What if the real key to richer and more fulfilling work could be to not create and scale something into a massive corporation, but rather, to work for yourself, determine your own hours, and become a (highly profitable) and sustainable company of one?
Enter to win a free + signed copy of Company of One, Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business (by Paul Jarvis).
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