Arguably the greatest trap you can fall into is complacency.
Complacency in a personal relationship or friendship will eventually destroy it as the other party no longer feels loved or valued.
The same goes for your business.
Survey after survey has shown that the number one reason clients leave a business is a perceived indifference on the part of the provider.
But a far greater threat is believing things will just go on as they always have. That your clients will see value and keep buying.
Just because you’re successful now does not mean it’s going to continue.
A recent conversation with a colleague highlighted the traps so many fall prey to.
30 years ago the organisation was the market leader in their field and had no competition. They won and kept multi-million dollar contracts with the big end of town.
They had loyal clients, some of whom have been with them over 20 years.
But the competition grew. More and more people saw an opportunity in that field and put out a shingle.
Suddenly it became harder and harder to differentiate themselves. What they provided was being seen as a commodity.
To add insult to injury, they lost a couple of very large clients. Organisations who’d been with them 15 years or more.
Now another 20 year client has gone out to tender wanting to see if there are better options out there.
Things are looking dire.
So how did it come to this?
When times were good and deals were coming in, they thought the good times would last forever.
But history has always shown that the wheel turns. Once successful companies are no longer to be seen.
The signs have always been there. But management often blindly carries on, burying their heads in the sand.
As Susan Scott, author of “Fierce Conversations” put it, both success and failure often happens very gradually, then all of a sudden.
Put another way, think of someone who’s suddenly becomes an “overnight success”. Look deeper and you’ll see 20 years hard work building up their craft, until suddenly, they explode onto the stage.
The converse is also true.
But then it’s often too late.
So how do you ensure this doesn’t happen to you?
Keep innovating and re-inventing yourself. And market the heck out of it.
To be fair to my colleague, his organisation has brought new products into the market. But because they have not focused on marketing, explaining the benefits, removing perceived risk, clients are loath to take them on.
After all no one wants to make a multi-million dollar mistake. Especially when that means they could lose their job over it. Note the difference between a personal and company agenda here. The product might be of great benefit to the organisation, but the “buyer” personally has a lot to lose if it goes wrong, so won’t recommend it.
Why you must continually market.
No matter what you’re selling, every prospect will go through stages of “Awareness”, “Consideration” and “Decision”.
They may or may not know they have an issue until you bring it to their attention.
Once they recognise their issue, they need to consider if it’s worth fixing and research solutions. And then decide to go with one.
All of which takes time. Sometimes months or even years.
So you need to get the word out (marketing) long before you need the client.
But the biggest mistake organisations make is thinking everything’s going well. We don’t need more business and we won’t bother.
But the wheel will inevitably turn. And then often it’s too late. All of a sudden you don’t have the money to market. You cut back and many will go into a death spiral.
Take heed. Don’t let this happen to you. Believe me it’s much less painful to learn from other people’s mistakes.
If you’re at the top right now, we can help cement your position by improving your marketing and sales systems.
If you’re on the way down, it may not be too late. We can still help turn things around. If you take action now.
Call me on 0414-913334 for a confidential discovery session where we’ll diagnose and then prescribe a solution which will increase your profitability.