You’ve got 4 months left in the year to make your numbers. Are you relaxed and confident, or worried about how you’ll close the gap?
The economy is working against you, with Canada’s GDP shrinking for 5 straight months, market meltdowns, and a yo-yo exchange rate. That suggests that the weakness is more widespread than just oil prices. Manufacturing output fell 1.7% in just one month according to Stats Canada. Economists are predicting slowed growth in 2016. Maybe exchange rates are working in your favor yet on an adjusted basis things look grim; maybe exchange rates are working against you, with a resulting negative impact on your numbers
Take back control of your future
Here are 3 simple steps to boost your top line and more importantly, grow your bottom line:
- Step I (Below): Re-engage with your most profitable customers and make sure you understand what’s going on in their world and how you can continue to be a valued partner.
- Step II: Plug your revenue leaks by shifting your pitch with customers whom you know should be doing more business with you.
- Step III: Plug your profit leaks by taking action on the customers you instinctively know are costing you more than they’re worth.
(Need help knowing who’s who? Contact me to book a complimentary Accelerator Call to determine your best next step to get clear on these three critical categories)
Step I: Re-engage with your most profitable customers
Your competitors are hungry and will be looking for chinks in your existing customer relationships – you absolutely must shore up and protect the critical client relationships you’re counting on to deliver results this year, but you also need to go one step further. You need to find ways to do more business with them to help close your gap before year end.
67% of customers who leave do so because they perceive indifference on the part of the vendor. So what’s the best way to show them that you care? Take the time at an executive level to LISTEN to their concerns and challenges, and then come back with value-add that addresses those needs. Yes, we’re talking about good old-fashioned relationship building. I call these structured-yet-flexible listening opportunities Value Creation Conversations – they’re not a sales pitch, they’re not a meet and greet, and they’re definitely not a ride-along with a sales person. I’ve never yet seen them fail to generate significantly more business almost immediately.
It’s like doing something nice for your spouse and seeing your relationship improve almost overnight – paying attention and showing that you genuinely care works like a charm with your customers too.
The Game Changer from what you’re doing today: know your Who’s Who
Clearly you don’t have the time to be out running around seeing every customer you have. So here’s the game-changer from what you’re already doing: most executives devote the majority of their attention to their BIGGEST customers on the basis of revenue – and rarely are they your most profitable! If you want to salvage your year end, you need to focus on the ones who’ll really move the needle for you on the bottom line.
I show my clients, how to determine their most profitable customers in less than an afternoon, not through time-consuming accounting, but through a short-cut that delivers information you can take action on. If you don’t currently have extremely accurate profit numbers for your customers, then figuring out your Who’s Who and making the time to solidify those relationships is your next best step to closing the gap before year end.
It’s time to take back control of your success for this year. And it can be as easy as reconnecting with the customers who determine your success or failure. You can nod your head wisely (because we all know we should be spending more time with key customers yet rarely make the time to do so) or you can decide to take action and make it happen. What’s your choice?
Stay tuned for STEP II of how you make your numbers in the homestretch – coming out on Thursday, September 3rd.