Ken's blog is information and tips that Ken has learned over the years of coaching service professionals of various disciplines that he will share with you. His hope is that you will be able to benefit from these experiences and maybe incorporate some of the helpful ideas to improve your efficiencies and effectiveness.
Do You Have PIP?
September 29, 2008
There is no question that the overall economic pie will be smaller in 2009. Not only will there will be fewer client prospects available, but their needs may also be less. The competition will be fierce to capture those clients in almost every discipline.
So how and why will a client decide to do business with you as opposed to your competitors? Many might say that it is because you have experience and knowledge that clients need. Others might say it is because you do great work. While knowledge and great work gets you to the starting line, they don’t tip the scales your way or keep you in the game. The key will be if you have the “PIP “(Purpose, Intention, Passion) that clients want from their service providers.
Those who have the PIP can potentially take advantage of market conditions to excel. How? First, be very clear on who your ideal client is and be singularly focused in positioning yourself to acquire those clients.
Next, take a hard look at yourself. If you were giving yourself a service call, what would you think? Would you have an initial strong impression of you in the way you present yourself? While many of us have gone to business casual, it might make sense to dress more formally in certain situations. Why take the chance someone might think you are not serious about what you do?
What about your energy level? We all want a service provider that will passionately take care of us, right? That energy starts with you taking care of yourself. If you have been feeling lethargic and have been thinking about starting a regular exercise program, now would be a very good time to start! Not only will you feel better and come acrossas a person with energy to solve client issues, you will approach your business with more calm and focus. Whether you run, walk or have some other form of aerobic activity, you will find that it can help you find solutions to client and business problems. Some of my most creative ideas have happened while I am on a run or on the elliptical machine.
You'll also want to think about your managing your dynamic relationship system. How are you doing with staying in touch with your key referral sources?If you were a manufacturing operation would you leave your distribution to chance? Would you want to make sure your distributors were very clear on the characteristics of your product and who might best be served in using your product? Distribution is the lifeline of any business. It must be handled with a clear purpose to get the results the business requires. As a service provider, you must be very clear about the relationship system you need to capture the clients you need in order to achieve your business objectives.
Don't think that just because you know someone well that they will think of you if and when a potential referral arises. To do that, leaves your business to chance and it willnot survive this challenging economy. It takes effort, but if done properly, a strong relationship system can mean the difference of creating a high degree of certainty versus the stress of uncertainty.
People will respond positively towards you if they believe there is a mutual benefit to the relationship. If you come across as “it’s all about me” or only get in touch with others when you need them, they will simply forget about you and move on.
Yes, we are probably in for some rough sailing over the next year. But navigating those rough waters can be done successfully by taking a hard look at everything you are doing and making sure that you are clear about what you want to accomplish and more importantly, how you position yourself.
As a service provider you are the brand. Clients, prospects, referral sources and the like cannot touch, feel or smell your packaging. They simply make their own assessment and it is always right. Why? Because their perception is reality! Make sure that your brand has “PIP” so that the marketplace knows that you are serious about your business and taking extraordinary care of your clients.