Business development is relentless and often it can be hard to think of a new approach. Most of your new business will come from existing clients so we need to focus on which ones have the most potential to grow your business, and also be enjoyable to work with.
The first step is to create three categories:-
- Existing clients
- Prospective clients (warm leads not yet converted)
We can then divide the existing clients into a further three areas:-
Really analyse your clients and decide which ones are Gold. You may need to take some time to think about the criteria for being Gold. We often make the mistake of focusing our time on clients who pay a high premium fee, however they demand double the time. Other clients pay a constant fee which gives you guaranteed income and need very little time.
Therefore ask some questions to create the Gold criteria:-
- What is the current fee structure?
- How much time do you spend on the Client account?
- Do you enjoy working with them?
- How much resource is required to service that account?
- How long have they been a Client?
- Have they given you more work?
- Have they recommended you to other Clients?
Make the exercise visual by having your Gold clients on display in your office.
“What you focus on becomes reality”.
Prospective Clients will need to be touched regularly as now to get to a point of sale you will need at least eight touch points if not more. Keep a tracker and make sure it is on display to all the team.
Wish seems a bit far reaching, however again the genius of audacity you just never know. It is a great exercise to focus on who your dream client would be as it helps with the categorisation of the Gold existing clients.
Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to facilitate a management meeting email@example.com
There are many detailed business review techniques however if you want to build a quick picture and show the current landscape, here is a quick tool.
Create some cards with the following headings:-
- Core activities
- Business efficiency
- Financial position
Instructions for completing cards:-
Your core services (please use a separate card for each activity eg. sales, products, etc…). Explain briefly during the last six months what has happened in this service area.
The mechanics and processes behind your business. See suggested list below, however add anything that is relevant to the workings and effectiveness of your business. Please use separate cards for each new area.
- Team & skills
- Procedures eg. gas safety…
Assesing revenue streams (separate card for the different areas)
Over the last six months, which Clients have you been working with.
Are there any highs or lows that you would like to record in regard to competitor activity. A new service or way of doing business that has a positive or negative effect on your business.
Once you have completed your cards in all the areas, you can then sort them into the following headings:-
To make the exercise into a team activity you can post the cards into buckets with the headings above and then review them as a group.
Please do get in touch for nuggets to facilitate a review of your business firstname.lastname@example.org
Our ability to sell correlates to our revenue, and yet it is hard to sell especially when in most cases it is yourself.
We must believe in what we are selling and therefore a good starting point is to decide what result the Client will get if they buy your service. Write down 3 results they will get if they buy from you:-
- By attending a nugget workshop you will think differently about the way you work
- You will look at your team with “fresh eyes”
- Practical actions from relevant training in a shorter period of time
By focusing on results you are giving them the WIFM factor (Whats in it for me?) and you have created a strategy of being customer centric.
Work out how many people you need to see each month to convert into a sale. The ratio will be high so make sure you book as many appointments or in my case coffee and catch ups. It might be 8:1, whatever the number keep a track of your conversion rate as it will help predict your cashflow.
When you get to meet them think of the flow of the conversation:-
- Build rapport
- Questioning – understand their world – empathy
- Reflect what you have heard
- Give examples
- Tell them how you can help them…
To build rapport really get to know them and remember the things that they value (holidays, family and health) very rarely is it their job.
Think of 3 key questions to follow the rapport:-
- What sort of training have you had recently?
- Who have you worked with before?
- What outcomes were you looking for from the workshops?
Reflect back answers – using case studies “From what I hear is…we have recently worked with …”
If it is not the right fit, don’t be afraid to walk away, it is not right to sell a Rolls Royce when they were in the market for a Mini.
We can appeal at three levels:-
- Aspirational – “other companies are buying our workshops”
- Emotional – “you will feel so much better having attended”
- Fear of missing out – “we only have three places left on the workshop”
Plan your new business meetings and most importantly enjoy them so that people want to work with you.
The difference between being successful and effective is knowing how you got there. Success can be luck, it was incredible, however upon reflection there was not necessarily a process to get there. Being effective has longevity and can lead you to success multiple times.
Taking time out to analyse your process can lead to even greater results. A good example was the process of cash machines. When they were first introduced the Banks found that they had high costs on lost cards. The process they had mapped out, was as follows:-
- Insert card
- Enter PIN
- Request cash
- Collect cash
- Retrieve card
The initial process involved getting the cash out of the machine before the card was returned. Most people were focussed on the money, so, once they had the notes in their hand, they turned away, leaving their card still in the cash machine. Simply by reversing the order of two steps solved the problem – people had to remove their card before they got their money. This small change in the process saved the banks money and also was a more effective process for the customer.
We can process map anything, your morning routine, invoicing, sales, customer returns and setting up a new system.
The most effective way to conduct a process mapping session is as follows:-
- Map the process – use magic whiteboards or a roll of brown paper, then use post-it notes to log every step of the process
- Analyse the process – step back and decide whether there is anything missing and who has ownership at certain points of the process
- Redesign the process – if there are obvious points where the process gets held up, look to redesign
- Implement & communicate – Follow the process and document it (infographic) share with as many team members as possible
- Review – after 90 days review with the original process mapping team
Please contact email@example.com for more details
We find it very easy to shower every morning and clean our teeth, however in work we are sometimes at a loss to know where to start.
In work we need rituals and habits that make it easier for our brain to hit the ground running. Remember when you learnt to ride a bike how hard your conscious mind was focusing on all the obstacles in your path and now you cycle looking at the view.
There are times when we require new thinking so it is good to challenge our brain however ritualising some of the daily or weekly tasks could free the mind when you want it to really work hard.
Think about habits and routine items within your business:-
- Posting on social media, set a time each day where you go in and have the same system, of the platforms you visit, so that the tour becomes familiar and easy.
- Set aside time in the week when you read the relevant articles for your business. Accumulate them each day so when you hit that weekly reading spot you can get in the zone.
- Allocate a specific time to email and touch base with your clients, have it as an appointment in your diary so that it happens.
- Have some daily disciplines in place, write down what you want to achieve each day and check your work in progress schedule.
- Think about your daily habits, when do you open your email, when do you start project work and most importantly when do you eat.
- Connect with friends and colleagues by booking coffees and lunches, ensure you have a pipeline at all times of connections, business and pleasure.
- Review your day so that you can constantly improve your systems and processes.
Please do get in touch if we can help at nuggets to create some new rituals for you and your business firstname.lastname@example.org
Liv Boeree a famous Poker player and her excellent TED talk explained how we quantify our thinking which gives us more precise language.
We use estimate words rather than defining what we actually mean. I will “probably” meet you for a drink. Instead we could talk in numbers “There is a 60% chance I will meet you for a drink”.
We often talk about a “gut” instinct however the reality is that you need slow careful analysis. Your gut does not park your car or end your marriage. Behind your gut is slow careful analysis as to whether it is doable based on size or financial implications, all about numbers.
When we are successful we might say we were lucky however if we go into the next project with just luck, we would fail. We have strategic edge based upon our skill level which will be calculated by the number of times you have practised deploying that skill, again all about numbers.
As a poker player Liv Boeree leaves us with three summaries:-
- Your gut is your friend and so is a cost benefit analysis
- Success is sweetest when you achieve it across a large sample size
- The future is unknown but you can dam well estimate it
It is so easy to focus on the here and now and not have those big conversations that can change the direction you are currently focusing on.
To ensure that the discussion is effective you have to set the scene and provide a framework:-
- Meeting booked in the diary well in advance
- A theme agreed being long term discussion on growth, business improvement, expansion anything in the future…
- One to five year time line
- Everyone given time to prepare
- Suspend judgement during the meeting to ensure that there is free thinking
- Discuss points in agreement and ones in disagreement
- Use structure by using the boxes below to guide the discussion and to create a strategy
Use a facilitator to ensure that you stay on track and that you have the tools and resources that will ensure open discussion.