Client obsession syndrome keeps you focused on current and prospective customers who present lucrative deals and long term relationships. Except no contracts have been signed.
Just the promise of What Might Be.
Client obsession syndrome keeps you chasing leads that truly fit your ideal customer persona. These customers are solidly within your sweet spot of core capabilities.
You know how you get.
You start imagining what it’s going to be like working with that customer. You daydream scenarios of you and the customer solving issues. You may even know what type of outfit you are wearing in each scenario.
You have an entire reality show going on inside your head.
That’s the problem. It’s not real. Not yet.
In the meantime, these not-really customers keep stringing you along. They ask for more support material. They ask questions that have you diving into resource content that not too many folks have access to. You are designing solutions and disseminating proprietary blueprints to people after an introductory meeting.
You feel you are letting these prospective clients experience what it is going to be like working with you.
After a while, it is a one-way street. Except you don’t notice.
You are too busy obsessing. You are giving away free consulting because you have that client obsession syndrome.
You have your head buried in the sand. Fantasy is being perceived as reality.
Stop it. You are better than that!
Client Obsession Syndrome happens when you have no limits set on how much emotional and physical energy, creativity and resources you expend per customer over time. In fact, you lose sight of time.
Client Obsession Syndrome prevents you from taking a look around and identifying opportunities in other business segments. Opportunities you hadn’t even considered before you took your head out of the sand.
Your single-minded obsession with potential clients who could truly be terrific for your business clouds your vision and self-perception. There are other people you should and could be networking with. There are meetings you should and could be attending. There are books you should be reading to further your professional development.
Make it a practice, each month, to review the folks who are the objects of your sales, engineering, manufacturing and startup obsessions.
You may have a far greater sense of urgency to work with them, than these customers have to work with you. For a whole bunch of potentially really valid reasons…. Or not.
Gain some professional perspective. Save yourself from angst and disappointment in the process. Do something for yourself: learn some new stuff. And slow down.
Otherwise your syndrome of client obsession has you putting a limited number of client eggs in your business development and sales basket.
You have far more opportunities out there than you have taken the time to identify.
Now that your head is out of the sand, enjoy pursuing those relationships concurrently.
You will be far more satisfied with yourself professionally and feel less compromised personally.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps companies, teams, startups and small businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. She and her clients co-create Playbooks, resulting in more productive, profitable and healthy organizations. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.