OK, I have to admit. I was watching the Academy Awards this past Sunday evening. Yup, I was checking out the red carpet action as well. Upon receiving their awards, every one of the winners attributed their success to their team: those folks who bring out their best and get their stories out of their heads and onto the screen.
Which got me to thinking.
How do you reward your clients?
Many of us would say that the reward our customers receive from working with us is the value we bring to them with our strategies and solutions, products, platforms and services.
Think customer loyalty program. Think customer retention. Think about having some fun while reinforcing how we drive revenue through their organization.
Lighten up. Think out of the proverbial box.
What would your Customer Awards program look like? What would be your criteria for evaluating who would receive your award? What would your award look like? Would it involve additional services, offered gratis? Would it involve a gift?
Would your Award Program simply involve a thank you, a certificate, an acknowledgement of your successful partnership with particular customers?
You know as well as I do that you have certain customers who are a delight to work with. These are you’re A-List customers: the ones who bring out your best work. In fact, your collaboration with each other brings the best out in both of you, time after time. Then again, you have those customers who will never realize everything you potentially could bring to their table, because they are too busy haggling price with you or second-guessing your recommendations or just plain being jerks.
Perhaps if you instituted a Client Award Program, it would get you thinking more about cleaning out your client closet so that the majority of your customers were on your A-List, that red carpet list of most favored customers.
Perhaps if you implemented a Client Award Program, you would prospect differently as well. The customers you would acquire would be like those A-Listers. Those customers should be the ones you need to focus on. They help you hone your skill sets and grow as a business professional. You, in turn, help them move their businesses to the next level.
There’s synergy and collaboration involved. There’s team work involved. There’s solid business development involved.
It’s nothing less than getting your business and technical skills outside of your brains and into the real world so that they can be perceived and folks can benefit from your deliverables.
These are the folks you give your greatest performances for. And it’s no act. It is who you are as a business and technical professional.
Here’s an idea: take a look at your current customer base and determine how many folks are worthy of receiving an award from you.
What would your customer base look like if that number were 100?
Babette Ten Haken provides technical people and other sellers a solid strategy for how to explain a product, its benefits, and its value in ways that buyers can easily understand and sellers can comfortably present. She gets people together who are often on opposite sides of the table, like engineers and sales people or entrepreneurs and investors. Her company, Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, works with entrepreneurs, start-ups & investors, as well as small businesses and manufacturers, focusing on revenue-generating and portfolio-building business development strategies. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? was named 2012 Finalist, Top Sales & Marketing Awards.