Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Known Devil v/s Unknown Devil

The 80-20 Golden Rule for Winning More Business
Whether you are a freelancer or an agency, this is a golden rule that works for both, when you looking to win more business.
I have, very often, in my enthusiasm and weak moments spent hours/days/months chasing a new client. And then in my wakeful hours regretted every such moment; as most of such chasing turned out to be unfruitful. I chased new clients, they ran away, I did not get them and I lost work on hand too. At the least, I lost precious time that I could have spent on ‘work in hand’. 

Does it mean I should never chase new clients?
It means that I should chase old clients. 

“Huh? You out of your mind or something? Why chase old clients? They are yours anyways!!” sneers my inner voice.

No my dear Watson, you chase new work from old clients. I can bet you that you will end up winning quite some work this way. 

“How? Why?” – Inner voice

Because, my dear, a known devil is better than an unknown devil. And you are the known devil for your old client. 

Here’s why the client prefers the Known Devil:
a)  The client knows you well enough to trust you (the fact he is still sticking with you shows his trust in you amply).
b)  The client knows the way you work (he knows that when you say you will deliver tomorrow, the max you will take is another day to deliver). But the client does not know about the new agency and is terrified they may not deliver at all.
c)   The client has included you in his comfort zone and unless it’s an emergency (like when the boss is angling for another agency), he would choose to stick with you
d)  It has been proven that 80% of new business comes from 20% of your customers/clients and 20% comes from the 80% whom you have never met or are meeting for the first time.
e)  Obviously, there are no prizes for guessing, whom I will chase – the 20% who are my special clients- trusted, good old known devils. 
f)   It has also been found that if the client is looking for a fresh approach and invites a pitch from new agencies, eventually they will give you part of the work or come back to you in a couple of years with the whole brand jingbang.  

In this dog-eat-dog word, the known devil wins!