There’s an old joke that goes like this.
A man dies and St. Peter greets him at the gates of Heaven. St. Peter tells the new arrival that his record is good, but that he still has free will and can choose between Heaven and Hell. But before he does, he’ll have the opportunity to explore both options. Then St. Peter gives the new arrival a tour of Heaven.
Heaven is a nice place. Everything is perfectly clean. A lot of angels are walking around singing hymns and such. But overall, Heaven is a pretty boring place. After touring Heaven the new arrival gets a chance to explore the alternative.
Hell is a very different place. It’s a party! There’s a lot of loud rock music. There are a lot of people dancing. There is a lot of drinking and smoking. Everyone’s having a great time.
After his tour of Hell, the new arrival goes back to visit St. Pete. And he says, “I apologize, but I’ve decided to spend the rest of eternity in Hell. It’s nothing personal. It’s just more my style.” And off the new arrival goes to Hell.
When the new arrival gets back to Hell, it’s nothing like it was during his tour. People are literally on fire; their flesh is burning. There’s screaming and suffering. It is Hell, after all. The new arrival says to Satan, “There must be some mistake. This isn’t what Hell was like when I visited yesterday.” Satan laughs and says, “Yes, but yesterday you were prospect. Today you’re a customer!”
Remember when you were courting your dream client? Remember when you were giving them the full-court press? Remember how proactive you were in anticipating every one of their needs? Remember how you found a way to nurture that relationship, creating value long before you claimed value?
What would have to change for your client to once again feel the way that they felt when they were a prospect? What would a charm offensive look like?
Would you spend time at their location? Would you spend time listening to them to get a greater understanding of their world and how you might make a difference? Would there be lunches? Dinners even?
Would both the frequency and the nature of your communication change if you were executing a charm offensive?
Would there be no problem too small to deserve your attention?
What would it look like if you were actually courting your existing clients?