Taking the Long View

The Client Letter
August 31, 2012
Sedona, Arizona
Sunny 70 Degrees

Are you playing this client game for the long term?

If not, there’s a good chance you’ll lose to someone who is.

I haven’t talked much about the long view, but in my opinion, it’s extremely important to your success as a provider of professional services.

Take a look at the two lists below. The first has some items that might describe someone in this game for the short term. The second list describes someone taking a long view.

List #1: The Short Term Player

  • Has time pressure to close deals now, even though this might cause resentment (from discounted services, terms, etc.) later.
  • Needs to make offers with deadlines (real or fake) because clients have to make decisions sooner, rather than later.
  • Is willing to discount services to get client work.
  • Often emits the “I need something from you and I need it quickly” signal to clients.
  • Puts greater emphasis on closing deals than the long term growth of a relationship.

List #2: The Long Term Player

  • Has no problem rejecting clients or projects that are not a good fit for now (despite any short term consequences).
  • Always chooses to build long term relationships instead of short term income.
  • Emits no signal of “need” EVER.
  • Does not get emotionally caught up in client projects. Retains perspective given by focusing on the long view.
  • Does not rush to close client engagements. Let’s them unfold and close naturally.

So which sounds like a more attractive set of attributes from the perspective of your future clients?

In my experience, taking the long view is not something you do after you’ve “made it.” It’s a choice you make when you begin that actually helps you create success.

If you want my best advice for instantly appearing like a professional to your prospects, this is it.

Take the long view. You’ll stick out like a sore thumb.

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