Last week, I got up at 5:30am to take two planes to get to Seattle for a 40-minute business meeting and supper with a client. And without question, it was absolutely worth it. The meeting was excellent and the client and her team have a renewed confidence and energy in our business relationship. Could this trip have been avoided? The answer is, it was avoided for five years. The last time I made this trip was six years ago. One thing for sure, it will not be six years until I get to Seattle again.
Would I do this for all of my clients? Should I do this for all of my clients?
The answer is no, to be successful in business you cannot be everything to everybody. You must focus on the customers who make you the most money or have the potential to make you the most money.
This is why you continually need to profile your definition of a great or profitable client and then prioritize them.
Customer prioritization is the next great sales (and marketing) strategy after profiling. By prioritizing customers and prospects you can manage your time much better. By prioritizing you can determine who you must give more attention to and who can either do without or can be serviced another way. For lower priority clients, I will telephone them or use video conferencing like Skype. This way, I either avoid time wasting traffic jams to get to their office or busy and congested airports if they are in another city. Lower priority clients are important – just not important enough to afford giving up two full business days for a face to face visit.