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Sacking clients: brand power wheel - sales-management


Remember in the last letter we talked about your directional pipeline and how from time to time you'll be approached by prospects who just don't fit with what you want to achieve? We looked at the altered types of chance - Desperate, Curious, and Inspired.

Well, now we're going to have a think about what might crop up if you realise you have some of the critical or interested ancestors as your clients. Oh, the shame!

One of the tools we use is called the Brand Power Wheel - not got one of these? Then you know the drill, send a blank email to: leanbrandwheel@aweber. com with "Send Me The Brand Power Wheel - I'm Gone Out - Again!" in the area under discussion line!

The Brand Power Wheel certainly helps you to ascertain what's crucial to you and the way you work, so you can see whether prospects (people who haven't bought yet) and clients (those who have) fit with your ethics and beliefs.

What we find is that for many companies, doing this at an complex stage in their big business lives, they get a bit of a shock. I know we did! You might find that some rudiments in your brand power wheel are maybe out of line. The good news is once you've lined all up, you'll have far more power and appeal than your competitors and they'll struggle to ever especially comprehend the reasons why.

The Brand Power Wheel consists of layers (Belief, Capability, Battle & Image, Externalities)- each layer, makes up an crucial part of your generally brand and communication. Running from the contained by out will by and large have a more dramatic air on your final Brand contact than functioning from the beyond in. You exceedingly need to see it - send a blank email to: leanbrandwheel@aweber. com with "Send Me The Brand Power Wheel - I'm Lost Out - Again!" in the branch of learning line!

So, the first thing you need to do is set about lining the whole thing up so that you can assignment a heady and go well together brand to your target.

I would just like to say that there is no right or wrong way to get all in alignment. Some colonize may favour running on their own beliefs while others concentrate on capability with training. Some ancestors will realise that their only jam is in a sloppy image that doesn't be a sign of the characteristic of themselves or their customers.

However you attempt the challenge, you must do it based upon your beliefs, goals, and exceptional challenges.

There is, however, by and large a hard way and an easy way. . .

Occam's Razor
William Occam (William of Ockham) was a mediaeval philosopher attributed with emparting the next wisdom. . .

'Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitas' (Plurality be supposed to not be posited not including necessity)

Now this sounds a hardly bit too pompous and bookish for my partiality so here's my simplification. . .

If you have to desire amid two actions, models or plans that are both apt to conceive the same outcome then desire the simpler one.

If you apply this belief to your brand power and the rest of your marketing - you'll abruptly ascertain it's effectiveness.

Applying Occam's Razor and Sacking Customers

When we were faced with a Brand Power conundrum a few years ago, we went because of this assignment again and naked that near all of our beliefs, capabilities, accomplishment and image were lined up, but by hook or by crook we just weren't in receipt of because of effectively to our customers.

At this time we were running with and targeting large, corporation firms. We were being paid very well but:

* Our customers were happy to pay for our assistance but not often followed it all the way through far a sufficient amount to get results

* We had rare skirmishes with central point managers in Marketing, IT and HR - so every development felt like a battle

* We became bored, tired and characterless in our work and as a answer began to feel that we weren't benevolent our clients our best shot.

We looked into this more fully and realised that we were in point of fact targeting and operational with the wrong types of companies for us.

We'd taken part in infrequent projects with smaller, more inspired and hungry firms and had exceedingly enjoyed the sense of achievement and the celebration of their success.

Small associates in big firms actually didn't be conscious of our approaches for a add up to of reasons. The main one being that ancestors in large firms are battling for power within. They by and large (there are bound to be exceptions) aren't as attracted in the firm's accomplishment as they are in their own.

Marketing Managers sought to spend more on marketing - not less. They sought after a better budget, more colonize about them and more belongings depending on them. This way they could grow their prospects, power and security.

What we were present was in as the crow flies conflict with what they hunted and it had repercussions all the way through all rudiments of management, from HR all through to IT and Communications.

So who did want what we were offering?

Owners of small, inspired knowledgeable businesses did. Citizens who were costs their own money on marketing loved what we were saying.

So looking at our existing brand wheel, we could see by a long way what we had to do to get through. Sack our clients.

We distorted our focus to small authority businesses, courteously (well almost!) sacked some of our best paying customers and set about positioning ourselves as a ballet company that works with small authority businesses. Most of what we did, said, held and were clever of lined up completely with our new target, so with an infrequent tweak here and there, we began to get work with accurately the customers we wanted. And they certainly hunted us.

So, how did we sack our clients?

Remember Occam's Razor and do it austerely and elegantly.

We had a few to get rid of. One of them was our biggest client for the earlier 2 years, but when we investigated the economics of custody that client we briefly realised that they were only just profitable for us. They were an 80 character consultancy. So our first line of attack was to add to our prices by 100%. Now, commit to memory we weren't difficult to get a price increase, we were frustrating to find a way of extricating ourselves from the relationship.

They said they'd pay. Bugger!

So, we held a very frank assembly with them (those of you who know us can guess how frank!) where we discussed what would need to come about for us to work as one in the future. I must say we were blunt. The main and frequent issue with this client was that they "played" anxious ALL the time. Every must was urgent, every piece of marketing data was desired yesterday, they never deliberate ahead and they were continually ungrateful! So, we not compulsory ways that might work in the future. They promised to try!

Now, some ancestors may be thinking, wow - that's so arrogant. And, you might be right. But, this is our big business and if we're not enjoying it why are we doing it? We knew what we sought out of a client and we laid it on the table. They tried, but they were so embedded in their old ways that it was impracticable for them. So, we parted company!

We attempted a akin price raise with a few others we sought after to "sack" - with anecdotal success. We tried a few other techniques, like recommending other companies who could assure them develop than we could (we generated a few good partnerships with this model) and putting in longer timescales for projects. But by far the most booming was being honest and forceful them why we were releasing them!

I think Jim Womack - Head and Come to grief of Lean Venture Institute http://www. lean. org says it most succinctly: "Customers often have no array but to acquire the waste along with the value"

When you're functioning with clients who don't fit your ideal client profile, who "play" desperate, who exhaust you and are never grateful, then a big cheese must be suffering.

We realised that not only were we agony (emotionally and profitably) but that our ideal clients were business the waste along with the value! Sacking clients who don't fit your ideal profile means you have a more cost-effective big business and each one succeeds.

Speak Soon,

'Dangerous' Debbie Jenkins
debs@debbiejenkins. com

(c) Copyright 2005 www. BookShaker. com

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