Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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Are you leading your clients in the right direction?

Your clients believe, like, and trust you. They believe you when you show them a new product or service that improve their lives. They enjoy their interactions with you. You are easy to work with, you make their problems go away, and you are quick to respond to their needs. You are also personable. Your clients genuinely like you.

Your clients also trust you to do what you say you will do. You deliver on time or early, you call when you say you will call, and your follow up is just right. You have a solid customer base and want to keep building both your client interactions as well as your business.

So make sure you continue to lead your customers in the right direction.

What can you do to make sure that you continue to lead your clients in the right direction?

  1. Provide the right amount of choices for your clients.
    Some businesses confuse their clients with too many choices. Procter and Gamble learned this lesson when they had too many varieties of Tide detergent. Extra bright colors or extra stain removing power? Powder fresh scent versus spring fresh scent?

    Even loyal customers were confused when facing a wall of Tide in their local stores. The Paradox of Choicekicked in.

    Given too many choices, our brains are afraid of making the wrong choice, so we make the decision with the fewest negative consequences.

    Buyers opted toward the generic brands. Tide actually lost market share when they provided too many choices, and Proctor and Gamble learned a valuable lesson. 

    Lesson: Don’t try to be all things to all people. Focus on what you do well and what your clients need from you.

  2. Under promise and over deliver.
    Are you constantly looking for new ways to delight your clients?

    People love getting good value.

    When I order my dog’s chew treats, the company adds in a few extra biscuits or a piece of jerky specially made for dogs. It probably costs them just a few pennies, but it makes me look forward to the goodie box when it arrives. Likely as not, I buy the goodies on the next order, which is, of course, what they are hoping for, but there’s never a sales pitch, and I feel valued as a customer.

    Lesson: Give a little bit more than the client expects.

  3. Treasure your current customers.Don’t neglect current customers in favor of chasing new ones.

    Have you ever seen a commercial where a seller promises a great deal that is “available to new customers only?” How do current loyal customers feel when new customers get better treatment than they do?

    Pay attention to the clients you have.

    Yes, it is great that you are doing well and want to expand, but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore your current customer base. They got you this far, and if you continue to cultivate their business, they will continue to refer you to their friends and family.

    Every customer deserves to be treated as though they are individual and special, because they are. Don’t get complacent with your customers. Don’t take your clients for granted.

    Lesson: Constantly wow your customers. If you don’t, someone else will.

  4. Be solutions oriented.

    Leading your customers means steering them toward good decisions with good information.

    Work to provide the technologies, services, or products that provide solutions your people need, even before they are looking for those solutions.

    Lesson: Stay updated in your industry.

  5. Actively participate in building a bigger pie.
    Practice cooperative competition.

    Look to grow the industry, as well as your own business.

    Competitors sometimes think that if someone else gains business, they lose business. They believe that if someone wins, someone loses. This is scarcity mindset and it does not foster growth.

    Everyone can build their business by providing great services and value and by referring clients to other providers if they are a better fit.

    We could all benefit if everyone made a commitment to refer a client to the competition.

    Lesson: Refer business to others to create a bigger overall industry when it best serves the client.

Every business owner and manager is a leader.

We create a business community by leading and serving others.

We can build more profitable businesses by leading our clients as well as our employees, staying current in the field, valuing our customers, and helping each other become more successful.


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