Want to create a long lasting and profitable relationship with a client? Help them solve a problem. It’s just that simple. Don’t start out by worrying about how many features your product has, how much your service costs or even how your stack up against a competitors. If you can help someone… truly help them… you’ll make money.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had with the owner of an advertising agency out of New York. His philosophy to developing new client business was to speak with a prospect and ask them questions about not only their needs but also how he could help them look good to their boss, investor or client. His approach was that if he could make them look like a rockstar then he’d have a client for life. Guess what? It worked every time.
Being a business owner isn’t easy. You have to balance the demands of clients, employees and investors while carving out what time you can for family and friends… much less yourself. So I’ll forgive the occasional inward focused entrepreneur. But don’t forget that we live in a world filled with people, each facing their own problems. If you focus on their self-interest first, rather than yours, you’ll close the deal every time.