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“Do you know who Sweet Spot customers are?”
That’s the question I often open with when I present to franchisees. Some people immediately nod their head. Most folks, though, sort of look around the room, unsure of their answer.
Then I follow up with, “How about your Sweet Spot employee?” That usually gets a few murmurs and mumbles.
“Sweet Spot community partner?” I can usually be assured of blank stares at that point.
Your Sweet Spot client, employee and community partner are your ideal client, employee and community partner. They are the very best of the best. The kind of people you wish all your clients, employees and partners were.
If you’re going to build a base of rabidly loyal clients, employees and partners, it seems the place to start would be with knowing who you actually want to attract and keep.
That’s where we’ll direct our attention first; by profiling and monetizing your Sweet Spot Client, Employee and Community Partner. Focusing on these key constituents helped me to strengthen my business, smooth out the Peaks and Valleys and even decrease some of the drama inherent in so many workplaces. It’s only after you have profiled and monetized these important players, , that you can effectively communicate to the people who need to know- your staff.
Identify Sweet Spot Client
This is your very best client, in profiled form. Is it a family that regularly brings new people to dine in your restaurant? Is it a real estate company that regularly adds to their holdings and thereby increases your weekly janitorial service or signage? Perhaps it is a small auto dealer that regularly requires automotive services or repainting?
Whoever it is, and there may be more than one, you need to define it, profile it and label your Sweet Spot Clients. Sometimes, it’s not clients who generate the most revenue. It may be their ability to connect you to others or the regular referrals they provide. At Kids R Kids Academy, we had two Sweet Spot Client profiles. All of the clients were of course, highly value, but these are the ones we actively recruited and made certain they were very, very satisfied, all of the time.
It may seem obvious to you as the owner, but your staff probably do not know who you most value as a client. When someone working for you doesn’t know who drives important revenue into your business, they cannot give them the extra special courtesy and special treatment they deserve. Of course, we all hope that all clients get treated extremely well, but in actuality, it doesn’t always happen that way.
Then, S-P-E-L-L It Out
I vividly remember one incident in my business. I was sitting in the office one early evening when I detected a slight ‘tone’ in my manager’s voice. I listened in and clearly heard her impatiently explaining the ‘sick child’ policy to a parent. In the early child hood field, two subjects are surefire ways to get a parent’s defenses up: Their child’s illness and money. Land mines. Use caution.
I hopped up and came to Dad’s rescue by inviting him into the office where I shared the policy and the reasons behind it. He was a new Dad, new with us and a brand new parent with an infant. I assumed correctly that he was probably exhausted and hadn’t learn the rules of the road yet. He was fine with my explanation and accepted my apology for my managers lack of sensitivity, as I euphemistically referred to her attitude.
Next up, it was the Manager’s turn for the office invitation. I grabbed the calculator - for dramatic effect - and respectfully showed her ‘the math’. It went like this: New Dad pays $225 a week for us to lovingly care for his daughter and to be treated with kindness and respect by us. Everyday. In one year, New Dad will pay us over $11K for this privilege. Over the course of five years, if we provide engaged, professional and loving care for his daughter and, don’t insult him or otherwise lose his business, he will pay us well over $40K. With emphasis and tone I repeated, “Well over Forty Thousand Dollars”.
New Dad was a Sweet Spot Client. I knew it, and she sort of knew it – but it’s not the same thing as when you s – p – e – l – l it out. Message received by her and lesson learned by me. This topic went to straight to next staff meeting agenda to be shared with all my employees.
Do you know who your Sweet Spot Clients are? Does your staff? If not, here’s what I suggest. Do a first pass on your own, without input and write down who you think your best clients are and why. Do some research and confirm this and add more detail. Then get some input from your staff and further refine your list and profile. Share this information at your next staff meeting, including why it’s vitally important to for everyone to strengthen, protect and grow the number of these valued clients this year.
Christy Wilson Delk owned and operated a Kids R Kids Academy in Orlando, FL for 15 years. Now, she teaches Entrepreneurship at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL and speaks and writes for the franchise industry. Her book, Adventures in Franchise Ownership: 4 Pillars to Strengthen, Protect and Grow Your Business will be published this summer. For more information, go to her website, www.ChristyWilsonDelk.com or call her at 407.399.5554.