Five Steps To Delivering On The Philosophy Of Client First, Money Second
Going the extra mile for your clients ensures a long-term relationship that lasts through thick and thin.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Why do you own a business, and work those incredibly long days and sleepless nights?
We would take an educated guess, and suggest the main reason is to create success in your field and generate money; the means to an end that is hopefully a more than just a comfortable lifestyle. For many, this includes providing the very best for their workforce and nearest and dearest. In order to be able to do this and see maximum return, following the most important business philosophy is crucial; client first, money second. The philosophy relies on the simple reasoning that without clients, you won't make money.
For us at Atteline, a long list of clients doesn't just provide an income, it also provides resilience and opportunities for growth; two things that are becoming increasingly important in the modern economy. Going the extra mile for your clients ensures a long-term relationship that lasts through thick and thin. And if they stay with you, chances are they enjoy the way you and your team work and like the results they see, which means they will be more inclined pass more opportunities your way. Suddenly, after a few short years of following this philosophy, not only will your client list be lengthy and profitable, but also selling your brand for you. On top of that, when the next economic downturn comes, you'll feel far safer knowing a solid list of clients have your back, and see your relationship as equally crucial.
One of the most common mistakes we see committed around us is an obsession with money and figures, what's coming in, how much is flowing out. Remember, there are no inputs without clients. That being said, here are five easy steps to take to adopting and delivering on the invaluable philosophy of client first, money second:
1. Acceptance At the end of the day, the only reason you will have success is because of your clients. If you continue to put your money before your clients, you will soon lose both. Accepting this is the first step, and though it may seem simple, many businesses struggle to accept short term losses for long term gains.
2. Live and breathe it The word "commitment" is often thrown around as a business buzzword. It resonates with some people as a scary thought, yet to others it screams courage and trust. After acceptance, you must commit to the philosophy, and it can't be a half-hearted effort. You must live and breathe putting your clients first and making them feel special.
3. The more you give, the more you get The easiest way to reach success is to help others acquire their own. When you give your clients your knowledge, advice, trust, or even a discount, you will be rewarded by their continuous service. You should always spend time fostering client relationships, because at the end of the day, the client is the most important person in your company.
4. Put yourself aside Realistically, you're not going to get along with all of your clients on a personal level. Some of your clients are going to have challenging personalities that you might actually dislike, which will make putting them first difficult, but you must persevere. In order to get the work done it's important to place any personal animosity aside and focus primarily on the job at hand.
5. The empty chair technique This is an unusual technique, but it is effective. From their early days, Amazon executives would use this method to ensure meetings and outcomes were always beneficial to their clients. Every meeting you enter representing your client, place an empty chair at the table, which would represent your client, and throughout you can direct your conversation towards the chair. This also helps to consider what the client would say and be thinking during the meeting. By doing this, you'll never neglect the client's needs, because you will be acting as though they are in the room.
Related: Sourcing New Clients? Decide On A Marketing Strategy First