Key Learning Outcomes
- Recognise that to stand out in a competitive environment, your business needs to be offering something unique, and you need to offer it in a consistent fashion.
- Learn the importance of conducting activities regularly and on time to strengthen your client contact.
- Identify unique ideas for client contact that set you apart from your competitors.
- Determine which activities will give you the best return on your time and effort.
We operate in a highly competitive world where our clients have infinite buying options and many different businesses vying for their attention and custom. You need to make sure you stand out from not just your direct competitors but from EVERY business that your client is dealing with. This may sound like a big ask, but you may find it is easier than you think.
To have stand-out client contact you need to be doing something that is UNIQUE and you need to be doing it CONSISTENTLY. For something to be unique it has to be something that most of your competitors are not doing, and to be consistent you need to be doing set activities regularly and on time. Follow our process below to see how you measure up.[wlm_ismember]
- Make a list of all your client contact points. Start with broader headings and then break them down into all the individual activities. So for example, you may start with a heading of Current Clients. You then look at all the various contact points you have in your client nurture plan. In the example below, contact points for current clients include a birthday card with a gift, a monthly newsletter and a quarterly VIP promotion.
- For each activity you need to give yourself a score out of 10 for uniqueness and then a score out of 10 for consistency.
- You then need to analyse your list and look for areas of improvement.
- When you are grading the uniqueness you need to think about whether this is an activity that most other businesses in your industry are carrying out. These days you may find it is more difficult to come up with unique ideas for client contact. If you have some areas that are strong in uniqueness you need to make sure that they also score well in consistency, as these things are likely to earn you a greater response rate and stand out in your clients’ minds. For those activities that score poorly in uniqueness, you need to assess whether the activity is worthwhile. If it is, then it is ESSENTIAL that these activities score a 9 or 10 on the consistency scale.
- A high score for consistency is earned when the activity is carried out on time, every time. If you plan to send out a quarterly report, to score a 10 it would need to be sent on the same date every three months, for example on 15 January, April, July and October. If you are sending your quarterly report only three times per year or occasionally a month late, then you would score less than a 5, highlighting an area of improvement.
Looking at the above example, we can see that there are some things that are being done well and there are a number of areas for improvement. For example, while the monthly newsletter for this business is not high on the uniqueness scale, it is being sent every month and on time. The key would be to see if there was something that could be added or enhanced to increase the uniqueness score.
There is an opportunity to stand out as a lot of businesses collect birthday and anniversary information and then do nothing with it or use it inconsistently. Looking at the above example, the idea of the birthday card and gift may be unique; however, the business scores low on the consistency scale. With this type of client contact it is important to be on time, every time. We need to look at why this is occurring. It may be because it is one of things that is forgotten or put off during busy times. If so, look for a solution. Perhaps the cards can all be prepared well in advance during slower periods and then mailed at the beginning of each month.
When doing this type of exercise it is important to be honest with yourself and look carefully at each activity to ensure that you are getting the best possible return on the time you put in. Sometimes when clients do this workshop they learn that they are trying to do too much and are not doing anything consistently. In that case it may be better to drop some activities and concentrate on doing a lesser number well or really enhancing those which you know are unique within your industry.
This is also an excellent opportunity to look closely at what return you are getting on each activity and to highlight areas of improvement. Ask yourself why you are doing each activity. If the answer is “well we have always done it”, then determine if it is adding value to the relationship with the client, if the client still wants it, and if we getting a return on the investment of time and money.[/wlm_ismember]
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