Growing any business is hard, and small technology businesses are no exception. Often founded by...
Returning your firm to growth
Many of our customers are reducing costs, and that’s putting a strain on the professional services firms that service them. Let’s talk about the best ways to reset and get your firm growing again.
Step 1: Solidify your current customers
Your account management and delivery teams should be doing this regardless of the market, but make certain they’re in touch with their accounts and know (from the account's point of view) how they want to be serviced. It’s much harder to grow without retention, so make certain your customers know you’re prepared to respond to their changing needs. This isn’t the time to say “no” to anything; let them know you’ll go above and beyond.
Step 2: Improve your offerings
“If they’re not buying what you’re selling, figure out what they are buying and sell that.” The market has changed: the demand for growth-oriented technology services has lessened, and demand for services that improve efficiency and KTLO are up. How do you find the right services with the right message? By listening to your customers! If your salespeople should carve out some time for some consultative selling and ask the customer interrogative questions (the “why,” “where,” and “how” questions). Once you’ve heard them, it’s your job to come up with offerings that will solve your customers’ new problems.
Step 3: Understand your losses
Conduct an honest review of why each client has ended the relationship. Start by listening to your customer on why they ended the relationship and what they think you could do differently, then conduct an internal review of that vital information. This isn’t a time for blaming anyone (or the economy!); focus instead on understanding why each customer was lost, what contributed, and how you will handle it differently the next time. Apply those lessons to your current customers immediately and update your sales prospects on your new capabilities.
I facilitate strategy sessions to with leaders in professional services organizations to work through these steps and align on a new direction. My clients leave these sessions with actionable commitments and a sense of ownership and accountability to a new plan. By following that plan, they are well-positioned for a rapid return to growth.
Let’s have a conversation about returning your firm to growth. Contact me for an initial consultation.