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Put On Your CAP, All Clients Are NOT Equal

I’ve been so impressed by Dean Minuto and his thoughts on sales and performance and have learned a great deal about the art of storytelling. Dean shared his thoughts on what I call selecting your clients and they truly resonated. In my blogs, I’ve often shared lessons learned from mistakes and a recent BizBash podcast dealt with how to create a great business marriage. Especially when starting out we tend to grab at low lying fruit…anything to make a buck and “win” over the competition. But is it the best choice?  Here is yet another lesson that Dean has allowed me to share with you. 

                                                                     – Andrea Michaels


– By Dean Minuto  
 
Remember this fact: 
All clients are not created equal. 
There are some clients that you don’t want. 
Put on your Thinking CAP– 
Critical Account Planning 
Sometimes you can get to yes too fast, with the wrong clients. 
There are some yeses that you don’t really want. 
Some clients that you bring on 
that later you wish you hadn’t brought on… 
you know the ones? 
The clients that end up costing you financially 
and emotionally… 
Clients that treat you and your team with disrespect. 
They’re just hard to serve. 
And it’s hard to get rid of them. 
Better to identify them before you go after them. 
The easy ones to identify are the ones that exhibit 
behavior characteristics of bullies. 
(You saw the behavior from them on day one 
and yet you didn’t listen to your gut.. 
because that client was a Shiny Object.) 
Thank you to my dear friend Andy George 
for helping me frame this concept. 
Something about the deal was attractive 
so we went after it. 
But… 
The reality is: not all clients are equal 
and some clients are bad fits for us. 
What if you could identify them before you went after them? 
Before all that time, energy, and expense was wasted? 
Let’s use the metaphor of an Apple Tree 
(first shared with me by my first partner and 
master sales expert, Stephen Riddell) 
Think about all the deals out there 
and all the opportunities that you could be picking 
as apples on a huge Apple Tree… 
There are big apples and small apples; 
there are good apples and bad apples. 
Now think of yourself and your team as Apple Pickers. 
Down near the ground, or on the ground 
are the low hanging fruit… 
They look like the easiest apples to grab, right? 
But they’re often the deals that are rotten 
…they are low margin… they are hard… 
Because they don’t value you. 
Leave the Bad Apples on the ground. 
Let your competitors respond to their RFPs. 
(How do you define a Bad Apple in your business?) 
But look way up at the apples at the top of the tree 
beware of the Shiny Objects up there 
the ones you have to work too hard to go after 
and because of how high you have to go off the ground 
they are actually dangerous to try and pick. 
You might get hurt going after them. 
Beware of the lure of the Shiny Object. 
Your life is like an Apple Tree– 
with a virtually unlimited number of Apples 
and the question you need to ask is 
which are the healthiest ones for you? 

 

Dean Minuto

 

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