Why I Walked Away From a Potential New Client
Why systems and processes should always come before marketing and sales.
I recently met with a potential new client who had asked me to help him with his marketing. However, it quickly became apparently, he was not ready for what I could or would do for him.
Why? Because he had no systems or processes in place that would allow him to firstly, manage any new leads and sales, or second, had no systems to support his growth. He would likely crumble with the stress and lose customers due to customer service taking a hit, or worse.
But he is not the first potential client that I have told is not ready for marketing support. And so, I thought I would share a few pointers to those of you keen to scale or thinking you want more leads and sales.
If 5 new leads or 50 new sales came in next week, could you cope?
Can your systems scale quickly and efficiently? If not, consider what you would need to do this.
Is it more staff, is it a CRM system, is it a bigger warehouse or is it more bandwidth on your website?
There are heaps of things to consider when you begin to think about scaling. More leads and more sales are not always a good thing if not planned for.
Cash flow can quickly become an issue too. If you need to buy stock but payment is within 30 days, have you accounted for that? Do you need to adjust your payment terms perhaps?
For service–based businesses, do you know how many clients you could take on – what is your capacity? Taking on too many can quickly add stress to your, your team or even wear and tear of equipment. Have you considered holiday periods and staff absence, what if you are ill? Could you still deliver a great customer experience? More clients is all well and good, but if you start to receive negative reviews because service standards fall, you will quickly find yourself with less clients than you started with.
Scaling is an art in itself. But what makes it a whole lot easier is having systems and processes in place when you aren’t at capacity rather than waiting until you are fully booked. Using the excuse ‘but it’s only me’ is not an excuse not to implement systems – even operating alone, you have systems. And if you ever want to outsource some of them such as social media, your website, picking and packing, sales calls, you will need to have them ready so why wait?
My rule of thumb – any action or task that is repeated more than once, should be documented. Only then will you begin to spot more efficient ways to do it, look for software that can improve accuracy and allow you to outsource or take on staff.
Have a go, it is liberating, and I promise you will find spare capacity in your business and free up time, reduce costs and ultimately improve your bottom line. Then, you are ready to scale and announce that you need help with marketing!