Leading or Following the Client

Mindshare equals wallet share. The greater your share of mind, the greater your share of wallet.

You are either leading your clients or they are leading you. For decades, salespeople have been taught to uncover dissatisfaction and to sell their solutions. The challenge with this approach now is that it is too reactive for the disruptive age in which we find ourselves. It’s passive and reactive in a time that calls for initiative and a proactive approach.

Waiting and Reacting

If you are waiting for your prospective or existing clients to tell you what is broken so you can fix it, you are operating in reactive mode. Anyone can walk into your prospective client’s office and asked them what sort of issues, challenges, and opportunities they’re working on. But if the prospective client already knows these things, you are following the client. There are a lot of people who would prefer to follow the client, allowing them to determine exactly what they need for themselves.

Leading and Taking Initiative

Leading the client is different. Instead of waiting for your prospective client to decide that they have a compelling reason to change, you get in front of them and provide them with that compelling case for change before they have even recognized that need. You provide them with their next big idea, their next initiative, and their next breakthrough. That’s leadership. It’s how you own mindshare.

Leading the client is difficult. You have to possess deep business acumen. You need to have the situational knowledge, those experiences that inform your thinking and provide you with the ability to help chart the appropriate course forward. You have to understand the trade-offs that your prospective clients are going to need to make as they take a step into the unknown.

A Proactive Approach

Proactively helping your prospective clients avoid challenges before they recognize them is a far more powerful space to occupy than the traditional role of waiting until your prospective client has enough of a compelling reason to change to begin searching for help.

  • What do you know that your prospective client doesn’t know yet?
  • What can you see clearly that your dream client has not yet begun to notice?
  • What are the competitive threats or future opportunities your prospective clients should be pursuing now that aren’t even on the radar?

Filed under: Leadership

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