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This topic continues to resonate. Responding to my list of pros and cons in Selling subjectivity – part two, Picturemill’s William Lebeda sent me this candid feedback (shared with permission):

This clarifies the danger of repeat business in a way I had not understood so clearly before.

With that, let’s put this topic to bed (for now). As we do, I’d like to briefly shift from the negative to a positive.

Yes, having an unhealthy amount of repeat business is bad business. Got that…

But as you consider a commitment to developing new business, what’s the big win? What’s your goal? Because if tomorrow you started gradually replacing all your old, bad clients with new, better clients… we had better know exactly what we’re aiming for. The stakes are real.

So here’s one snapshot. Imagine getting your studio / prodco to a position where as you meet new, bigger, and better clients, you can start the conversation with something like this:

It’s great to meet you. Before we begin, you should probably know,

We’re expensive…

And we’re really busy…

But we would love to work with you.

This is you setting an entirely new set of expectations which, frankly, none of your old clients could ever accept.

Granted, getting to this position requires laying a new foundation. Just ask anyone who has been through the Jumpstart accelerator module (gauntlet?) known as Carve Out Your Positioning; it’s a daunting undertaking.

But once you get there, you’ll never again be dependent upon unhealthy amounts of repeat business to sustain your business.

Cheers,

Joel

P.S. Many of you are asking about the next Jumpstart, which gets underway mid-October. Stay tuned…