The seeds of failure are sown in your own success

by in Lifesize, People

I go to a lot of conferences, and I mean a lot. The irony of being a heavily traveled Video Conferencing Evangelist is not lost on me or the thousands of folks I meet every year. However, I take solace in the fact that’s it’s my job to educate people about the power of video, and that requires me to travel quite a bit.

simon-01LinkedIn  |  Twitter  |  Google+

At these conferences I’m often asked about the “hows” of our technology—how does it work, how is the user experience, how will it improve my people or my business, etc. While an answer would seem appropriate here, people are often caught off guard when I simply change the conversation and ask a question in response. The question never changes.

What would you do if your top client went away?

This often flusters people. Even speaking hypothetically, the thought of losing their top client is such an uncomfortable topic that most people don’t want to consider it. But if we are being completely honest, it’s a hypothetical question. Most companies spend so much time looking after their top accounts that losing a top client will likely never happen.

What’s the problem in that?

The trouble is that your top clients become ever more important, which then means you spend ever more time with them—leaving smaller clients, the ones you want to nourish so they become big clients, hanging in the balance.

However, the bigger problem with the ever-greater service to an ever-smaller group of clients is that, statistically, there is a chance they will go away no matter how good your service or product is. They can go bust, change their strategic direction or follow a friend or colleague who has moved to one of your competitors. Whatever the reason, it’s sobering to think that over two thirds of businesses go out of business within 10 years.*

What does this have to do with video conferencing, you might justifiably ask?

The answer is very simple—time.

With the scenario outlined above, your top clients begin to require an inordinate amount of time that may not be the best allocation of resources for your business. Video communications can help with that, particularly in the era of cloud-based video, when companies are able to send their clients guest accounts to use, any time, with high quality video and audio at no cost to the client. Think about how you can transform your business by having closer relationships with your clients.

The resource in shortest supply in business today is time, not travel. Think differently about how you manage your relationships with clients and consider how video allows you the time to see new clients and keep the ones you have. You could start visiting them every day if you want, all without having to spend time and energy traveling to them.

Who is your best salesperson?

You might think it’s your top-performing sales guy.

You'd be wrong.

It’s a happy client.

Typically, recruiting current clients to talk to all of your prospects just isn’t practical. So you’re forced to produce case studies, grab quotes and jump through a million hoops to get a diluted message out to your potentially next happy client. So here’s a thought—why not enlist your happy client to talk to a potential one over video? It’s quick, it’s easy, the legal department doesn’t get involved and your potential client will get the full experience, no filters. Think that might benefit your business?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a flight to catch.