I guess I’m on a “client relationship” kick this week. Bear with me, but this will be applicable to everyone, not just consultants of some sort.
Let’s quickly quantify two things:
The first is the inflow of new customers for your thought leadership business. Not for your resources or other products (we’ll get to that in a moment), but for the services that demand your time and attention. We’ll call that “demand” for the sake of this conversation.
The second is the ability of your business to handle all that business. We’ll call that “supply.”
Ideally, we want to have the demand be higher than the supply.
If we could graph these two variables, we would call the space in between them “the power to say no.” I call it a superpower because it give you the space you need to breathe and do your best work for the best clients.
It also has the pleasant side effect of keeping your prices high enough to be very profitable.
Your thought leadership business has the chance to remain healthy when that space is large enough that you don’t have to make too many compromises in who you work with and what you agree to do for them.
If that space does not exist, then you have a marketing problem, and that’s something that is often very repairable.
Now with information products and other resources like that, you have to adjust this formula a little bit because your supply can and should be extremely high. For example, with a digital download, supply is basically infinite because there is virtually no cost to replicating the product.
So here’s what we do with that: we don’t include the supply in your formulation, but we just look at demand.
What we don’t want is for the demand to be so low that you feel like you have to convince anyone to buy your stuff. Yes, there is always a bit of persuasion in marketing, but that’s not the kind of convincing I’m talking about.
You only want to sell something to someone who is a good fit for your products, and when you find yourself trying to sell something just for the sake of making a sale, and not because the product would be great for them, that’s when you know you’ve got a problem.
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