RESET: The Importance of Identifying “Smart” Clients

In the second video in his series Reset to Connect, Wayne O’Neill explains the importance of identifying “smart” clients. Learn the impact of making go or no-go decisions early on in your relationships with potential clients. It leads to longer term engagement and much more sustainable revenue.




So another really important part of resetting your thinking from traditional selling to embracing The Connections Process, is I want you to consider how do you spot a smart client? And what could that mean to you from a long-term revenue perspective in growing your firm? And I don’t literally mean smart from an IQ standpoint. What I mean is characteristics of how they want to engage the service providers that they wanna leverage to help them be more competitive in their vertical.

So here are the characteristics that probably most of you are familiar with, with clients that-, it’s not that, again, that’s not- I’m not trying to be offensive, they’re not smart. But their, their selections are based on price. Their selections are, are about putting you on a list. Their, their selections are based on your specific experience. But here’s the punchline for you, is that the procurement knothole that you get pulled through with this, that we all recognize… and I want you to think about that from a metaphor standpoint, is that your revenue, or your growth, is not predictable.

So now lemme reset your thinking a little bit more. It’s not that I want you just move you away from that to do nothing. I want you to go all the way over to being proactive. And think about identifying a smart client. Think about the behaviors of a smart client, because there’s a big payoff of that. They’re looking for solutions, and they’re looking for impact, not just experience. They’re open to diverse lessons learned. But here’s a big key… They’re also looking for, um, diverse-, hiring diverse teams, and they’re not, which you’ll see in their buying patterns with other service providers, is they’re not just hiring the big brands. This is not the purchaser of IBM, ‘cuz ever-, all the executives, and everybody on the board wants to be safe. They’re looking for the edge firm. Maybe the boutique firm. Somebody who’s doing something a little bit different. That’s what a smart client is doing.

Here’s another thing the smart client is doing. They’re attending industry functions, and they’re not just sending the normal, the normal folks that would, that fit into that function. Like, in the higher education business, a very prominent ed-, uh, a very prominent organization is the National Association of College and University Business Officers. It’s great for you to see CFOs. It’s great for you to see Provost. But you start to see a Chancellor, and you start to see board members come to that, somebody’s looking for solutions.

That’s a characteristic. They’re asking a bigger question. That’s the seed of a smart client. That’s who ya might think about engaging. Again, I want you to, overall, think about-, in traditional bi-, in the traditional selling, go and no go decisions are made at the end of the sequence. I want you to think about making the go and no go around a smart client at the beginning of the process. I don’t want you to walk out the door ’til you’ve decided, could that person, odds are, that institution or that firm be smart? What’s the payoff to you? Longer term engagement. What’s the real payoff? Much more sustainable revenue.

Thanks for listening today, and be safe.



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