Graveyards Are Filled With Untapped Potential
It's easy to see the untapped potential in people. Those who are not achieving their goals or worse, people who don’t live up to the expectations we have for them. It’s certainly true that most people never live up to their fullest potential. And that makes us sad because so much of that untapped potential is obvious and should have been simple to realize.
Your Client Base Is Also Filled With Untapped Potential
Clients who are not hitting the revenue and margin targets you had expected. Clients that are not growing. Clients who are giving portions of their business to your competitors, even though they have a relationship with you. Do you have a “graveyard” (i.e. lost client list) filled with untapped potential?
The companies we work with have unrealized client opportunity that could increase their overall company revenue and margin by 25% – 200%. It’s often very obvious and would not take monumental change to realize it, yet it remains untapped. Untapped because there isn’t a plan and/or a process to execute the plan.
We have a 5-step plan that is the secret to unlocking this potential:
1. Start right to stay right
Once a client decides to choose you as a business partner, their world changes. Do not give them a reason to have buyer’s remorse. If you get the implementation wrong, their desire to buy more from you is pretty low. Be an expert in implementation; have a meeting to set expectations and manage the change. The beginning is one of the most memorable moments of any experience. Make it memorable. They’ll want more “beginnings”.
2. Stay in their Operating Reality and be 3 x 3
You won the deal because you solved a problem they had. You were in their “operating reality”, seeing problems and opportunities as they exist through their eyes. Once they become a client, don’t stop trying to solve new and different problems. Expanding in your clients and certainly retaining them requires that you evolve with their changing needs, priorities and people over time. Nothing is permanent. Not the business or the people who gave you the business. Make sure you are connecting to as many Decision Makers and Decision Influencers that you can. Strive for at least 3 by 3 relationships in every account. That means you have 3 levels of relationships in 3 different areas within your client with 3 key people in your organization. This helps insure if someone leaves, the relationships can survive and continue to flourish.
3. Cross-sell all of your services
The probability of winning a deal within an existing client is 70% versus <20% win probability to a brand-new client (Bain & Co). It’s also 6 – 7 times less expensive to sell more to an existing account than to sell that same amount to a new client (Bain & Co).
By the way – your cross-selling success is your client’s success initiative, too. Have you ever had a client or prospect tell you that they are looking to increase the number of suppliers that they have because they like dealing with a lot of different companies? They like getting multiple invoices, the meetings, the challenges and the time-sucking inefficiencies that come along with it. I haven’t. Clients need to do more with less. That means they need less overall suppliers, yet ones that provide more. Help your clients become more efficient and effective by helping them do more with less.
4. Be consistent and create memorable moments
The secret to strong relationships and expanding opportunities is to decrease the negative variances and increase the positive variances. What that means is that you provide a frictionless and predictable experience for the day-to-day transactions such as order placement, follow up, delivery, invoicing, etc. These transactions should all be easy, frictionless, and predictable but don’t get boring. Don’t take the client for granted. Give your people the initiative to make your clients happy. Think Southwest Airlines and how they encourage their employees to make the experience fun for travelers. Be intentional about where and how you can create memorable moments. Maybe it’s as simple as a phone call from one of your high-level executives, an invitation to sit on an advisory council, or a business review where you have the opportunity to share industry news. These moments don’t create themselves.
5. Create a formal action plan to expand
Sales focused organizations realize how hard it is to bring on a new client AND they also realize how hard it is to keep and grow them. This requires a company-wide focus on current clients. Find your “white space” and plan to address it. Leaders need to strategize with the account teams on how they can help their customers grow. Get innovative and uncover what new products or services would benefit them. Understand your key clients’ strategic initiatives and tailor your team and your offerings as much as possible to help them achieve their goals. Know where you have risk and more importantly, know where you have untapped potential and address it. If you don’t, someone else will and you may find your client in your client graveyard.
Butler Street’s focus in on client and talent development. We can help you and your teams execute on this 5-step plan to tap into the potential that already exists in your organization and grow your business. If you think you have untapped potential, Lets Talk.