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Viewing The Client as a Market Space

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Executive Summary.

  1. What is meant by a client being a market space?
  2. Ten thoughts on how to leverage this concept.

Viewing The Client as a Market Space.

Why this concept will pay dividends in tough times

Whilst the concept of market share is readily understood, the concept of ‘The Client as a Market Space’ is one that needs better appreciation, so as to build mutually rewarding relationships that enhance the bottom line of both Client and vendor. It’s really all about building relationships with your Clients and in doing so, increasing your share of market within their space.

This is not the responsibility of a person or a department. It is not the sole responsibility of the marketing and or sales department either. It is not something that you do from time to time, when it suits. It is what business is about, all the time. It is everybody’s responsibility.

In these challenging times, viewing the Client as a market space is key to creating lots of opportunities to assist your Clients in meeting their objectives and in doing so, identify revenue and profit opportunities for your business.

To leverage them here are ten thoughts to assist you and your business through the process.

  1. Identify which of your Clients present opportunities around this concept. A simple gap analysis will quickly identify which Clients present what opportunities with what potential over time.
  1. Ensure that your whole company is pointed, focused on the Client. Let your Clients know that you are all there for them. Make it simple for them to talk to anyone in your company. Train staff to be competent and comfortable in handling Client interactions. Ensure that you let your Clients know whom to contact for what. A simple credit card format card will do.
  1. Build multi-level and multi-departmental personal relationships. This will ensure the relationship is based on many levels and won’t be at risk should a person leave your client, or alternatively you lose a key person in your business.
  1. Doing what Clients expect is boring. It is also a sure way to lose them. Business is all about competition for the Client’s imagination. The money will come later. If you don’t light your Clients’ imagination, don’t expect them to light yours.
  1. Clients matter more than anything. Without them, we don’t have a business. Without a business, we can’t create jobs. Show Clients that they do matter, again and again. Try driving them crazy with attention. It is hard to do, but the rewards make it worthwhile.
  1. Capturing enough of the right Clients to form critical mass is always a hurdle. It is important that one doesn’t accept work from every prospect as it will prevent you from focusing on the right Clients. These are your bread and butter. Don’t lose sight of them, ever.
  1. Become indispensable to your Clients. Weave yourself into their business by adding additional value beyond the scope of the assignment. Add your company’s brainpower to the relationship. Clients won’t forget. It keeps the opposition at bay too, whilst allowing you to cement the relationship.
  1. While you might like your point of view, the Client normally prefers theirs. Selling is all about listening. It is not about telling or talking. Tune into the sound of your Clients’ feelings. Try asking questions. What you will learn will be worth much more than anything you can possibly say. It is far more important to be a partner than an orator.
  1. If you want to fascinate a Client, be fascinated by them. Learn about their business, as if it were your own. Learn about their industry, as if it were your own. Fall in love with their problems, challenges and opportunities. They will always reward you for doing so.
  1. Encourage, open, transparent briefing sessions from your Clients every six months or annually. This approach will allow a lot of the previous thoughts to be incorporated whilst at the same time permitting you and your team a learning experience, which in the vast majority of cases identifies new revenue opportunities too.

These ten thoughts are just a few ideas to assist you and your business to understand better ‘The Client as a Market Space’ concept. Given that all the research ever undertaken in the field of sales shows that the cost of acquiring clients is 10 to 15 times that of retaining clients, investing in this concept, will pay handsomely in time to come.

Andrew Clare is Managing Partner of reLiance a business to business relationship marketing practice. We focus on improving client profitability through developing, implementing and measuring sustainable, collaborative business to business relationships.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.rassa.co.za


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