After taking five weeks’ holiday from the podcast personally, and being ably stood in for by five fabulous women, today I am back and talking to Nicola about the bittersweet feelings of a new coaching year as mine seems increasingly to start in September these days, where once it was January.
In episode 96 we catch up, and we talk about books and spiders and clutter-clearing and the inexorable approach of autumn which so many love and I find really very difficult indeed. Returning to work was, for me, a rude shock to the system but, as ever, I come back up to speed quite quickly, and talking to new people requires me to up my game.
I find that so far I have attracted fewer new clients this September but perhaps the match is better and we have a little debate about that which leads nicely into the Client Challenge of the Week which all about finding the right kind of clients and customers for our respective businesses and those of our listeners.
Nicola shared this:
So what would you do differently if you only get paid when a customer succeeds? Well, since that’s how it actually works, you should:
- Develop an ideal customer profile (ICP) because you don’t want to waste your time and resources going after customers that aren’t going to work out
- Figure out what “success” is for that ICP by understanding their desired outcome (what they need to achieve and how they need to achieve it)
- Only acquire customers with success potential
- Create a plan to get the customer from where they are to success
- Get super-granular on the steps required to execute that plan
- Share that plan with the customer to ensure they know what they need to do to be successful
- Ensure they do what they need to do, and you do what you need to do in order to make sure they’re successful
- Intervene when they aren’t making the progress they should be making
- Intervene when other signals indicate that they aren’t on a positive success vector
- Actively seek out and bridge any success gaps that may exist
- Proactively share insights gleaned from successful customers to your teams to ensure this cycle continues
- Proactively share insights from customers that haven’t been successful to your teams to ensure you won’t make those same mistakes again
In short, because you really do only get paid — the real, long-term kind of paid — after customers are successful, what you should do differently is adopt customer success as your operating model.
This sort of stuff is a bit too generic for me, being as it is about “success” which is so individual to me and my clients. Still there were some useful debating points and Nicola was able to have some new thoughts about one of her own businesses where she only ever wants 3-5 ideal clients.
Our words of the week are Bittersweet and Divest.
In project updates Nicola’s all about lead generation and I’m all about not wanting to talk about my own project to sell up in London and move to France because there’s no progress to report. Un-effing-believably. Since our podcast is recorded on 7th September and not broadcast until 16th, let’s hope there’s some real progress by then.
Nicola is impressed by upcoming TV Programme Planet of the Apps with Will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow and Gary Vee. And we’ve both enjoyed reading Daphne Kapsali’s book 100 Days of Solitude which is about staying on after the holidays are over on the Greek island of Sifnos and becoming a writer. We are both starting travel blogs, such was the inspiration.