Yesterday in NYC, Tim Thompson and I spoke to a room packed with two dozen creative entrepreneurs to share concepts addressing their #1 hot button Ingredient:
It turns out, every owner in that room was convinced their biggest issue is sales. And you probably think so, too. That’s common. Because everyone thinks they have a sales problem.
But do they?
To dig below the surface, we asked everyone this question:
“What’s the dream of sales?”
In other words, what results are you aiming for? We then asked:
“What are the obstacles?”
The pattern that emerged was clear: everyone in the room was stuck in what I call “Order-Taker / Patron” client relationships.
Which makes sense. After all, this is how every creative studio, agency, or production company launches and finds success.
Meet a need…
Provide great service…
Give clients whatever they ask for.
But then years later you suddenly wake up and realize this approach isn’t working for you anymore.
And it’s not even working for your clients.
What’s going on?
To get a sense of a better approach, I recommend today you call your doctor’s office. When they answer, treat them exactly like your clients treat you:
“I need a proposal for _____.”
“How much would you charge for _____?”
“After I review all the proposals, I’ll inform you of our decision to award.”
Because your doctor is an expert, you will hear the person on the other end of the phone politely respond:
“Sorry but that’s not our process. What we find works best is for you to first schedule an appointment with the physician so a proper diagnosis can be performed…”
What’s funny is, you – the client – love hearing this.
(Despite being essentially being told, “no.”)
Because this approach tells you that you are in good hands. The doctor is the expert. And you are about to be guided through a process which virtually guarantees a best possible outcome.
Now it’s your turn. When your clients call you, how might you evolve the conversation so instead of playing those old “Order-Taker / Patron” roles you instead play the better “Doctor / Patient” roles?
Slow down, dig deeper, and find ways your firm’s expertise can create the best possible result.
And don’t be afraid to say “no” in order to guarantee better outcomes.