G’day everyone – I am the author of the SMB Consulting Best Practices book that basically tells you how to make money with Windows Small Business Server (SBS) and other technologies! Today – my virtual book reading is a passage that promotes a long-term customer\client viewpoint. Enjoy!
Take a Long-Term View
Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. As an active SMB consultant, I’ve frequently observed how my successful clients conduct business, hoping some of that good mojo will rub off on me. By emulating successful behaviors, I hope to enjoy the same success as the people I serve with great pride. At the risk of sounding like an airport hotel seminar on the power of positive thinking, I do believe that thinking positively and surrounding yourself with positive, successful people helps you to be successful as well.
My most financially successful client, a real estate brokerage firm, considers long-term relationships to be the cornerstone of its success. This is a firm with generations of service to the Seattle business community working successfully in an industry (real estate) that depends on and counts professional reputation as a critical success factor.
So what can you learn from this section? Developing and maintaining longterm client relationships is critical to your success as an SMB consultant. There aren’t enough hours in the day to keep losing and acquiring clients. Such client turnover is not only unprofitable financially, but it also taxes your limited energy unnecessarily. Taking a long-term view focused on client retention is a much better path.
BEST PRACTICE: Once a client always a client, eh? A client today should be a client tomorrow, regardless of the software releases, technology shifts, and the latest and greatest gizmo. With the pace of technology product upgrades only increasing (or so it seems), it would clearly be unprofitable for you to retain a client for only one product life cycle (e.g., SBS 4.0). Why? Just as you were getting to know a client and that client’s information infrastructure, it would be time for you to hit the road. Ouch!
Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation www.smbnation.com
Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP
PS – did u know I host a technology conference in the New York City area each spring? Save the date for March 6-8, 2009 and watch “voice meet data” in the SMB space!
PPS – my SBS 2008 book will be out in mid-November 2008!
PPPS – my Microsoft Response Point Primer book is here NOW!