04 Aug Is this syndrome the biggest risk to your business right now?
I want to talk to you about a syndrome I’ve recently seen in a few businesses – some of them suffered the consequences of it, and others were able to escape it, before it had any long lasting impact.
What is this syndrome and is it rife in your business?
Well, if you are currently reliant on a small number of clients to hit your revenue target, or if you wake up in the night in a sweat thinking, ‘OMG – what if that 1 client leaves me – I’ll really be in trouble’, then you are likely to be suffering from this.
It’s called the ‘EggsInOneBasket’ syndrome. Sound familiar?
Do not fear if you think you may have this – there is a way out!
It’s so easy to get drawn into this syndrome. After all, just needing to find a handful of clients is easier than finding tens of them. And servicing a handful is also a lot easier!
This is particularly common with service professionals, such as copywriters or virtual assistants or marketing professionals, where you land a big client, give a huge sigh of relief that this covers your income target for the next few months, then generally put your feet up on all that marketing activity that’s been draining you, and crack on with the work.
But then the contract comes to an end. Or the client no longer needs you as they’ve taken someone
on in-house. Or they hit some difficulties themselves and simply decide to stop the project.
And you’re left in a panic as you realise you have no new work coming through!
So, how do you stop getting in this position, or get yourself out of it if you’re already there?
You need to set up what would have been called in my old corporate days, a ‘Customer Lifecycle Process‘.
Don’t be put off by the title – it’s simply a way of setting out your process for attracting and servicing new customers, ensuring you never end up in the ‘EggsInOneBasket’ syndrome again!
To get you started, here’s a simple 7 point process I teach in my group programme, and to my one-to-one clients if they don’t already have one:
1. Attract prospects / leads – how are you letting people know about your business and what you do? Consider online and offline.
2. Capture leads – once someone indicates they may be interested, how do you capture their details? This may be an online webform (you may have completed one of these to sign up to this weekly email), an online database system such as Capsule, or simply keeping a note in your notebook. (I like to use my whiteboard in my office for this too)
3. Nurture leads – just because someone indicates they are interested in what you do, does not mean they are ready to buy from you, yet! You need to have a way to stay in touch with them and nurture the relationship. Demonstrate the value you can give, remind them of what you do. This email you’re reading right now is part of my own ‘nurture’ process. You may want to send out a personal note, phone them up, or arrange a face to face meeting.
4. Convert sales – the aim of the nurture step is to take the lead to the next step and convert them into a customer by making a sale. BUT you have to make an offer for them to buy something – how are you making these offers to the leads in your business?
5. Deliver & Satisfy – probably the part you are most comfortable with in the process, this is where you get to do your thing!
6. Upsell – how effective are you at identifying other needs your current customers have, that you can also deal with for them?
7. Get referrals – once you’ve delivered your service, how are you getting referrals from your past and existing clients? Very often, all you need to do is ask – there is rarely a need for a complicated referral system involving points and gifts. Always start with asking!
So there you have it, your very own 7 point customer lifecycle process that you can implement in your business and avoid the EggsInOneBasket syndrome.
By implementing a straightforward process such as this, and following it, it not only takes the stress out of your marketing and sales, but it avoids you becoming too dependant on too few customers, and gives you a more sustainable business.
Not sure how to apply this in your business? Book in for a quick half hour call with me and I’ll help you see how it can fit and ensure you don’t end up in EggsInOneBasket syndrome (or get you heck out of there, quickly).
There’s no pitch, honest! Just click here to see what availability I have in my diary and book in a time that suits 🙂