Not only is there a process you use to move your prospects through the pipeline, but there is also a process YOU want to move through as you develop a relationship with your client. Many service providers fail to move themselves through this process so they become "stuck" at the bottom level, relegated to being perceived by their client as a supplier or vendor.
The key is to use your knowledge, influence, connections, commitment, results and perceived value to the organization to move up from vendor status to a consistent problem solver, and eventually to the level where clients perceive you as a critical strategic partner.
There are several reasons why moving from vendor status to a critical strategic partner is necessary:
It is critical to building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with the client.
It will increase your profit margins. As a vendor, you must be very price conscious. When you become critical to their success, they value you and your services more, which allows you to significantly increase your profit margins.
It will assist you in retaining clients and building loyal clients who won't terminate your contract at the first sign of trouble.
It will increase your repeat business. The largest sale you receive from a company is usually not the first one. Often it is not until the 3'd or 4th sale that the client learns to really trust you and give you the big sale with the larger profits.
It enhances your credibility to have long-term, satisfied clients who are willing to provide references and referrals to their colleagues.
It is less stressful, because ultimately vendors are compared and replaced based on price. Critical strategic resources are not compared or replaced.
Learning to move from a vendor to a critical strategic resource is just one of the things attorneys learn when they attend a Rainmaker Retreat. For more information on our two-day law firm marketing boot camp, visit www.rainmakerretreat.com.
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