As a business transformer, I help service businesses achieve growth, profits, and new levels of success without burning out of energy or money. And to grow successfully, your business must decide to service less, off board clients, or hire additional staff. While it seems unthinkable to lower services or off-board clients, so does adding more staff just to manage unprofitable or not-fit clients. It is always better to manage a lean, profitable business and provide quality servicing, which leads to rewarding referrals. If you struggle with growth and servicing, the 4 exercises below will help you focus on clients that fit and what to do when they don’t.
Exercise 1: Chart your segments and answer the following questions for each:
- level of expertise you will provide
- level of expertise you need to have on staff (newbie, associate, relationship manager, C-level exec, etc.)
- turn around response time to requests
- names of staff that will manage and service the client
- frequency of client review meetings
- frequency of client review calls
- minimum revenue you can afford to earn
- frequency of reporting
- perks – birthday card, birthday call, holiday card, holiday gift
- invitation to client-only event
- frequency of email dripped newsletter
- content provided online
Exercise 2: Categorize each client into a client segment in your revenue tracking/billing system. For example, if Mr. and Mrs. Jane Smith are the Platinum client segment, enter Platinum into a Category Field in the billing system. Review a report of all clients, gross revenue, and category and seek opportunities to lower the workload by shedding clients or reducing client services.
Exercise 3: Write a script for each scenario to make you feel better about off boarding or lowering client servicing.
1. Create written Script for not-a-fit clients that can’t afford your minimum fee. Include DIY methods to help them until they are able to hire you. And don’t be shy – ask for a Google review so they can express their appreciation for helping them pro-bono.
2. Create written Script for not-a-fit clients that only want specific short-term help and provide the contact information of a more appropriate provider. Again, ask for a Google review as you deserve thanks for being honest and giving them a name of a better-fit provider.
Exercise 4: Decide who to off-board and build a process to off-board them in a timely manner. Decide who will receive lower service and build a process to hold yourself accountable to lower servicing.
Whatever the outcome, you will realize that continually hiring new employees to service not-fit or over serviced clients can reduce compensation, cause soaring payroll expenses, and unknowingly replace current staff and business development with new staff training duties. For all these reasons and more, you should seek solutions that permanently improve your business.
Good luck growing your business!