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Steer Your Customers to the Right Offerings

Jan 17, 2008
As a consultant, I am used to potential clients evaluating our services in terms of the size and frequency of the benefits they are seeking for their organization. Such an examination is usually done through reference checking with our past and current clients who have had similar issues. Once satisfied that we can help them with their specific issue, an engagement almost always follows.

I quickly learned, however, that clients were using us for what I perceived to be the wrong services. What clients thought were their most pressing issues were usually not their biggest opportunities.

Why? Clients didn't know what their biggest opportunities were, but they were experts in identifying their biggest headaches. They were looking for Excedrin when there was a way to live a pampered life instead where there would be few headaches.

I compared the results clients received from having us help them identify and implement their opportunities with those clients who had us work on a narrow area of the client's choice. The clients who received our help with identifying opportunities came out way ahead.

From that measurement I learned and was able to share a powerful reason for clients to use our opportunity identification services. As a result, our total revenue expanded rapidly and our opportunity identification work grew even more rapidly. Our clients were happier, told more people to use us, and enjoyed better results.

A local government agency, which received most of its money from the U.S. government, had a problem similar to our potential consulting clients. Faced with a relatively fixed budget for providing services, the agency felt that it could accomplish the most by continually funding the same activities and suppliers. In that way, bureaucracy and disruptions in service could be minimized.

Where the agency went wrong was in failing to understand what level and quality of services its suppliers were delivering. Due to faltering leadership in partner organizations, service delivery was dropping rapidly even though the budgets were being maintained.

Since no complaints were making their way to the agency, the problem was invisible until measurements were put in place and the track records of alternative suppliers were investigated. A new policy was established to take the lowest performing suppliers and substitute new suppliers who had impressive track records in the same areas. Within a few years, benefit effectiveness more than doubled even though the budgets didn't change much.

From these two examples, we want you to be sensitive to the fact that customers and recipients may not be receiving the right offerings from you. When that happens, it's your responsibility as an expert to find out what's best for all concerned and change your marketing and offering processes to better inform and support your customers' and beneficiaries' interests.

Based on our research, the results will also boost your business. You'll be smiling more often and experiencing fewer business-related headaches as well.

Here are questions designed to help you uncover marketing- and support-based opportunities:

-Which customers and beneficiaries benefit most from your offerings?

-How do those who benefit most differ from those who benefit less?

-How do your marketing and support affect selections and uses of offerings?

-What do your customers and beneficiaries need to know that they don't know now to make better use of your offerings?

-What is the most effective way to provide that knowledge?

-Who needs that knowledge now?
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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