Sustaining Success
February 2010
 
Envision, Evolve, Achieve

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Congratulations!
 
You have been chosen to receive our monthly newsletter... Free! If this is your first issue, then welcome! I appreciate the opportunity to share best practices in leadership, management, personal and professional growth, recruiting, retention, and other areas critical to your success.
 
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Sincerely,
Laurie Mrva
Achieve Success LLC 
Achieving 100% Client Retention

In a perfect world we'd all have 100% customer retention! Every person we agree to do business with is a perfect fit for us and we are a perfect fit for them. We will stand and deliver our products and services with integrity and they will experience the optimal return on their investment. Over time we establish trust and credibility and might occasionally become friends. They're not going anywhere - or are they?

 

I'm not a math scholar but I'm pretty good at basic equations. Here's one that most business owners and sales people are counting on: Qualified Prospects + Need/Interest = IDEAL CLIENTS. Now let's agree to a few assumptions:

 

1.     You believe in your products and services.

2.     You can easily and passionately explain their benefits.

3.     Your prospect needs and wants your products and services.

4.     You follow through and deliver on everything you agree to do.

5.     You connect with them as appropriate (weekly, monthly, quarterly).

 

Based on living up to the "givens" listed above why aren't all of our clients staying with us FOREVER?!? I recently lost two clients so I began to consider some of the variables that may have affected my not so positive outcome.

 

I could honestly answer YES to all five of the givens. If it wasn't me...who could it be? THEM? So I made a list of the Top 10 Characteristics (with brief descriptions) of my target market:

 

5+ Years in Their Industry - Survived Start Up

 

2+ Yrs at the Same Company - Achieved Measurable Success

 

Business Owner - Invested in Building the Business

 

Entrepreneurial Mindset - Visionary/Calculated Risk Taker

 

Life Long Learner - Invest In Their Own Development

 

Coachable - Knows They Don't Know Everything

 

Established in Their Industry - Teaches and Trains Others in Their Field

 

Passionate - Completely Believes in Their Prod/Svc

 

Wants/Needs Referrals - Understands Referral Marketing is a Science

 

Positive Cash Flow - Able to Budget/Invest Based on Their Goals

 

What are the Top 10 Characteristics of your target market?

 

My most successful clients have nine or ten of these traits. The two I lost only had two or three. My lesson learned - If a qualified prospect does not match most of my descriptors they're not a good match for me. The proven equation looks something like this:

 

Qualified Prospects + Top 10 Traits + Need/Interest = IDEAL CLIENTS

 

Just because they need (or want) my product or service doesn't mean they're in a position to experience the maximum benefits. Most importantly, just because we're not a good fit in business does not mean we're not a good fit as friends and colleagues.

 

One of the most selfless things we can do when we're talking to an unqualified prospect is refer them to someone that can help them with their most immediate needs. Ideally, they'll develop into a qualified prospect over time by acquiring the skillset of your target market.

 

Quick personal note: My 9th grade geometry teacher would be so proud. My ability to prove, disprove and verbalize equations wasn't quite as impressive back then. Admittedly it's not all that impressive now. If she'd only spoken in terms of business; I'm a fourth generation entrepreneur! I still don't know what time Train A is going to meet Train B. What I do know is that I don't care to be on either train because they're gonna CRASH!

 

One last variable to consider - Could some of our most successful clients become less than ideal clients by allowing their abilities to diminish? Absolutely.

 

Perhaps the goal shouldn't be to attain 100% client retention. The goal is to serve people that meet 100% of your target market requirements in an effort to serve them to the best of your abilities.

 

Paula Frazier is a referral marketing expert for Referral Institute and has helped thousands of business people create millions of dollars in qualified referrals over the last 9 years! She is part of an exclusive team of international Master Trainers and collaborates with the leaders in her industry to continually develop cutting edge referral marketing concepts for the organization. As a published author she's also acknowledged in the New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion - Busting Networking's Biggest Myths. Check out #33, Delusion with a twist! Paula can be contacted at paula@referralinstitute-va.com

Working a Room

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A standup cocktail party can be a fun way to network effectively. To get started, approach effectively. Approach people you know first. Then have them introduce you to others. When you meet someone new, tell him or her briefly who you are and what you do. Spend most of the time building a personal relationship with him or her. Exchange business cards. Make notes about each person you've talked to on the backs of their cards. To develop the relationships you've begun, send follow-up notes expressing pleasure meeting them, and indicating an interest in talking later.

"Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight."

~ Henry R. Luce

 

"Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed."

~ Peter Drucker

 

"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else."

~ Sam Walton

In This Issue
Achieving 100% Client Retention
Working A Room
Upcoming Events
 
February -
G.P.S. for Entreprenuers NOW FORMING. CALL NOW to set up your complimentary mutual evaluation.
  
Click Here for more information!
 
G.P.S. for Entreprenuers - Define your Goals, Plans, and Strategies for 2010. Contact Laurie TODAY to learn how this may benefit you. 
  
March -

Networking for a Need

March 11, 2010 at Carrabba's Italian Grill

In support of Trust House 

Need a Speaker at your next association meeting, civic event or conference? I would love to learn about the groups and causes that are important to YOU! 

Free Consultation
Contact me for a complimentary consultation to discuss the results YOU would like to realize this year. Call 540-597-0813 or Click Here to email me.
 
  

A Customer's Expectation for Serivce
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All customers have certain expectations about what good service should be. Listed below are examples of customer expectations of service. Check those you feel are important. Use this at your next meeting or in your internal newsletter.

Customers expect value for their money - fair prices.

Customers expect high quality goods and services from a company.

Customers expect a clean, safe and pleasant atmosphere.

Customers expect employees to be knowledgeable and show interest in their jobs.

Customers expect courteous, friendly service - employees who really care.

Customers expect consistent value, treatment and good service, each time they come in the door.

Customers expect a variety of goods and products from which to choose.

Opportunity 
 

There are no limits to our opportunities. Most of us see only a small portion of what is possible. We create opportunities by seeing the possibilities, and having the persistence to act upon them. We must always remember... Opportunities are always here, we must look for them.

Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.

~ Henry J. Kaiser

About Us
Laurie helps organizations and professionals make positive changes to achieve their goals.  Achieve Success offers customized solutions to your business challenges including strategic planning, leadership development and employee assessment tools to assist with hiring, promoting and developing key skills to enhance success.   

Achieve Success LLC
www.achievesuccessllc.com