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A Short Diatribe Against A New Client Focus

Let’s step away from a discussion of strategy setting here, so that I can rant about all the reasons a strategy of “New Client Acquisition” is such a bad idea.  This is something I feel very strongly about, and if you follow this blog regularly, I hope that you’ll become inclined to agree with me.  (How strongly do I feel about it?  Well, I wrote a book for the alternative health industry with the subtitle:  “Why focusing on getting new clients destroys businesses.”)

It all comes back to the vision you have for your business.  I firmly believe that it is impossible to have both a client-centric focus and a “New Client” focus.

The reason is simple:  The fulfillment of a client-centric focus requires you to build a lasting relationship built on trust and the benefits you bring to your clients over time.  This cannot be achieved in 1, or 3, or 5 interactions.  And if attrition is an issue in your business (as it is in almost every business), any strategy that is primarily aimed at attracting new clients will be at odds with the vision and value of building long lasting relationships with your clientele.

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The Most Harmful Phrase A Business Owner Can Utter

The most harmful phrase to business owners is only 6 seemingly harmless words – “I just need more new clients.”

The problem with this is the word “just.”  Certainly, new clients are important, but for most businesses, they’re not even in the top 3 priorities.  When you shift your focus from attaining new clients, you can find many more ways to connect with your existing client base.

Unless you’re absolutely certain that you’re operating optimally with respect to your existing client base, and there’s almost nothing more you can do to improve their experience with you and your business, then the time, energy, effort and money you’d put into new client acquisition would be much better spent in these areas.

Great things start to happen when you move away from a new client focus.  For example, as you put more creativity and focus into improving your relationship with your existing clients, you drastically reduce the chances that they’ll leave too early (In other words, while they’re still getting a lot of benefit from doing business with you).

Additionally, by doing this, you’ll make it more likely that they’ll refer others to you, which brings you in more new clients ANYWAY.  And, of course, these referred clients are going to be better clients – Referrals always trump “cold” clients.

And, of course, let’s not gloss over the simple fact that by taking your focus away from new client generation, you’ll be giving yourself a break from all the hassles of new clients (of which there are many, to be fully explored over the coming weeks and months).

No BS Strategy Overview and Users Guide

This site obviously isn’t going to be a re-hash of the same tired (and ineffectual) business building advice you’ve been getting since you started.  But it’s also not going to be a reactionary “Because it’s old, it’s wrong” polemic, either.  Lots of things that are standards in many industries are standards for a reason – because they work.  Similarly, there are countless fads that are new and utterly worthless.

I’m going to write each post in much the same tone and style that I used when communicating with my private consulting clients, and so I want to do here what I do with them:  Acknowledge at the outset that I am going to take for granted that you’re successful, that you’re intelligent, and that you’re extremely good at what you do.  Anything else would be condescending on my part, and completely unfair – because I have no doubt that those things are very true.

But spending a lot of time talking about those things won’t bring about any change for you.  Instead, we need to look at the areas that aren’t working so well, at the practices that are more habit than logic, and find the places where small changes can have the greatest impact.

At the highest level, all of these things fall under the umbrella of strategy.

When I work with clients 1:1, I have the chance to directly question their assumptions, to challenge their beliefs, and to ask the questions at the time when they’re likely to have the most impact.  Since I can’t do that on a real-time basis in this format, if you want to get the best results, I am going to need you to do a lot more of the work.  (Sorry, no magic wand…)

So with that in mind, here are some things you can do to get the most out of this site.

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Mission, Manifesto and My Promise to you

You’re getting cheated.  It’s just that simple.  There are thousands of books, courses, articles, “experts”, and systems floating around, each and every one claiming to be the holy grail for you and your business.  I am honestly surprised that I haven’t seen this ad yet:

“Take my course, and I’ll wave a magic wand that funnels money into your account without you having to lift a finger.  You can work for 4 hours per week, make $20 million per year, and what the hell, you’ll lose weight, too…”

Hucksters are stepping over each other to scream at you that they’re the ones with the real secrets.  They’re the ones who can, for a hefty fee, teach you the one thing that will turn your business into a self running gold mine.

And when those secrets turn out to be anything but, when the gold mine turns out to be of the fools’ variety, there’s another huckster willing to show you why that last system didn’t work… again, for a hefty fee.

So just what are these “secrets” that are going to revolutionize your business?

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