No matter what the industry, be it professional services, manufacturing or retail, your clients initially want the benefit of your expertise and experience to solve a specific problem.
So you do what’s necessary and that’s where it ends.
But doing so means you fall short of providing every last ounce of value you can. And short change your clients as a result.
Now before you take umbrage and say, “Well, this doesn’t apply to me”, ask yourself this:
Are you always proactive when it comes to dealing with your clients’ issues? Do you always put yourself in their shoes, proactively think about how you could help them achieve their goals?
And this holds true even if you have a long term relationship providing ongoing services (think Tax, Legal, IT etc.).
In long term business relationships your clients consider you to be a “business partner” who helps them not only manage the day to day stuff in your area of expertise, but be proactive and recommend new strategies, technology etc., that will help them improve their businesses and lives.
In short, you’re a trusted advisor. And your clients absolutely expect you to be on the front foot with your advice and recommendations.
Clients want recommendations that reflect their particular circumstances.
Many a Financial Planning client laments, “They know us, our financial circumstances and the types of investments we’re interested in. So why don’t they come to us proactively and recommend a course of action? Why is it we have to chase them and ask about such and such?”
IT Services clients initially sign up for “Managed Services” to keep things ticking along. But this is not enough.
Their clients want them to give them advice regarding new technology, how it could fit into their business and lay out options for them.
So why do so many service businesses fail to be proactive?
There are a few reasons.
One is they’re so caught up in the day to day management of whatever they do, they never take time to sit back and think about what else their clients might need.
Many consultants are technical in nature. And I don’t mean in a computer sense – their technical speciality might be accountancy, law or IT. Such people often have the mistaken belief that they’re not “sales people” and recommending a course of action which involves a client paying more money is alien to their psyche.
Your clients want feel you truly understand them, be future focused and provide recommendations that will help them grow.
Just doing what you’ve always done is no longer enough.
So if you’re not Want to deepen your client relationships? Be proactive, recommend new products, services and ways of doing things that will help your clients achieve a better ROI and meet their goals.