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Week 9 Challenge: Build a Relationship Growth Plan

[Please note: this article, and the rest of the articles in this series, together constitute the 15  emails in the It Starts with Clients Client Growth Challenge. Please subscribe here to receive them on a weekly basis over the next 100 days]

In Week 9 of your client growth challenge, you’ll develop a plan to grow a key client relationship. Be sure to read Week 9 of It Starts with Clients, “Grow Your Relationships: The 10-Minute Plan.”

The new retention is expansion

The new retention is expansion. If you’re not growing a client relationship, you may very well be backsliding into irrelevance. If you aren’t broadening your footprint and impact, you are effectively losing ground.

The new retention is expansion. If you’re not growing a client relationship, you may very well be backsliding into irrelevance. Share on X

Put another way, if you aren’t one of a client’s top two or three advisors or suppliers in your area of expertise—or on your way to becoming one of them—then you risk becoming increasingly irrelevant. You’re a vendor to be “managed,” and, when times are tough, cut.

How do you expand an existing client relationship? Through investment and focus. You don’t create a beautiful garden by haphazardly throwing some seeds onto hard soil and then hoping something will grow–it takes planning. You have to plan what you want to grow and where the best places are in your garden to locate each plant (e.g., corn likes full sun; pumpkins like shade). You have to fertilize, water, and weed. You may have to fend off invaders like insects, rabbits, squirrels, and deer who will demolish your nascent flowers or vegetables. The same is true of your clients, although in this case, instead of tomato hornworms or deer, you face competitors who would like to take your business away from you!

TIP: Mind share leads to wallet share

When you have mind share, you are influencing your client’s agenda with your ideas, insights, and points of view. You are adding value above and beyond the service or product you sell.

If you have low wallet share, you don’t grow it just by “cross selling,” which often seems to mean simply showing up at your client and pitching them on other services you offer. Rather, you do it by regularly adding value to your client’s understanding of their challenges and the potential solutions to address them. If you work with a firm, this also means introducing expert colleagues who can explore new areas with the client. Cross-selling must follow a thorough understanding of your client’s priorities, needs, and goals–not vice-versa.

Your Week 9 challenge: Develop a growth plan for your client

Here’s your Week 9 Assignment: Complete pages 34-35 in the Growth Guide. You can also click here to download this assignment as a separate PDF: Week 9 Assignment.pdf

BTW, If you don’t have a copy of It Starts with Clients yet, please do buy one here, on Amazon (or from your favorite bookseller). It contains all of the detailed “how-to” for growing your client base. It is the foundation for succeeding at this 100-Day Client Growth Challenge.

In seven days I will send you your Week 10 Challenge: Develop Your Own Power QuestionsSo keep an eye out for the next email.

All the best,

Andrew Sobel

Founder and CEO

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