Why do you own a business and work those incredibly long days and sleepless nights? I’ll take an educated guess and say the main reason is money driven; the means to an end that is a (more than) comfortable lifestyle. For many, this includes providing the very best for their nearest and dearest. In order to be able to do this and see maximum return for the business, 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.
However, a long list of clients doesn’t just provide 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 work and like the results they see which means they’ll throw more opportunities your way. Suddenly, after a few short years of following this philosophy, not only will you 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.
One of the most common mistakes I see in business is an obsession with numbers and figures, what’s coming in, how much is flowing out. Remember, there are no inputs without clients. This being said, here are five easy steps to take to adopting and delivering on the invaluable philosophy of client first, money second:
- Acceptance. At the end of the day the only reason you will have money 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, though it may seem simple, many businesses struggle to accept short term losses for long term gains.
- 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.
- The more you give the more you get. The easiest way to get what you want, in this case money, is to help others acquire what they desire. 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.
- 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 job done it’s important to internalise this discomfort anyway you can and place any personal animosity aside.
- 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.
About the author:
Zaki Ameer is the Founder of Dream Design Property (DDP), a unique wealth creation mentoring program that is designed to help Australians gain financial freedom, offering each client an ongoing personalised service catering to their changing circumstances and needs. DDP has helped its clients purchase nearly 800 properties and has recently launched Dream Design Property Developments, offering clients the safest and most cost effective way to purchase off the plan properties.