Businesses are a lot like romantic relationships. They both require communication, growth, and maintenance. At some point, every company is bound to face a challenging time and may need to seek help. When couples go to therapy to address problems, it shows a commitment and determination to succeed; businesses are no different.
If your business is having trouble, I’m the “Revenue Growth Doctor” and I’m ready to cure your pain fast and effectively to get you back on the path to growth. Drawing from my own business experience, I know how to resolve the issues that hurt the relationships businesses have with their customers. Here are some common concerns I hear from clients:
1. “Where is this going?”
Symptoms: Stagnating sales; slow or plateaued growth
Overview: Your business is out of its honeymoon phase. The high sales that made you and your investors fall in love are a fading memory. Layoffs loom on the horizon for your once productive, but now bored team. Is your site traffic struggling? Are you experiencing premature exits? Are there sales force “complications”? When you’ve “lost that loving feeling” with your customers, it’s the couples’ equivalent of eating at Chili’s every Saturday night followed by binge-watching Netflix.
The prescription: Figure out what you want! Do you want a business that just keeps chugging along, or do you want explosive growth? If you want the latter, you need to inject new life into your customer relationships. Get different perspectives from your network on how to make your sales funnel more effective so you can generate better leads and close more deals. What worked before may not work now. As competition intensifies and industries evolve, systems need upgrading. Market share will erode if it isn’t cultivated.
2. “I want different things.”
Symptoms: Clashing desires among colleagues.
Overview: This occurs when companies grow, but the culture does not adjust. Like a couple after a few promising first dates, startups don’t want to remain newbies. They want to eventually shed the title and become an established company. However, maintaining core values and beliefs, such as, “Our employees are like family!” “Take risks! “Lightening fast turnaround!” can be difficult. Some employees or clients may feel that growth and culture can’t coexist, and the things that made your company unique in the beginning will begin to slip away.
The prescription: Take the time to explicitly discuss and align goals. Are you clashing because of lack of communication or maybe the relationship has run its course (i.e., no room for growth, a poor culture fit, wrong skill set)? Mission statements are trite, but the value lies in bringing people together around a common, shared purpose to buy into the company. All relationships change over time, but the ones that last provide their own unique, valuable insights, and are committed to a shared vision.
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3. “I don’t understand why they left me?”
Symptoms: Loss of customers; unable to identify customer dissatisfaction or lack of loyalty.
Overview: You bought a new outfit for the first date and spent hours getting ready; now you wear your pizza-grease-stained sweats. When businesses are trying to attract clients, it’s all club box suites, dinners, and personal attention from senior management. But after they sign a contract, they don’t even get nosebleed seats.
The prescription: Relationships (and businesses) don’t get easier, but they can get better. To take a relationship to the next level, that initial effort must always be maintained or exceeded. This shows that the organization isn’t just trying to add a name to their roster, but is truly invested in being a partner in the growth and success of their client. Continue to enchant just as you would your special someone. While we don’t suggest roses, instead listen, deliver results, and communicate. They will be happy they entered a long-term relationship with your business and always feel the love.