Improving Implementation

How To Increase Client Retention Through Improved Results

Management consulting comes with a significant challenge, retaining clients long enough for them to see the results of the work.  Most management-consulting clients want to see instant results, yet results of making changes in management practices take a while to filter to the bottom line.  So most consultants find themselves constantly selling the value of their service to keep the client engaged in the process.  Many times the implementation of the changes they make also take time, so quantification of results are further delayed and they don’t completely understand the benefits if they haven’t done the work themselves.

Coaching client retention improved 75% by providing worksheet templates and walking the client through implementation

Each meeting with the small business coaching clients started with a question from the client essentially asking “where is the value I’m paying for?”  The reason they become clients is to improve their bottom line.  However, they start looking for those results in the very next month’s financial statements, instead of breaking it down into smaller pieces.  If their concerns weren’t answered satisfactorily, they would leave.  Since each meeting would involve a specific business process to focus efforts, it also involved leaving them with an assignment to implement a solution.  Having them personally implement the solution was critical to their personal investment in the changes to make them lasting.  To make sure the client would actually go through the process of implementation, the last part of our meeting would include walking through the worksheets.  Getting them started in the implementation process created momentum.  When they picked up the process where we left off in the meeting, they would start to see a change in how their business operated in this process and be able to conceive the potential benefit in their own mind.  They would come to the next coaching session with a success story instead of a question of doubt.  This occurred in 7 out of 10 clients instead of the 4 out of 10 before implementing this solution.

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2013 Jim Anderson

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