Lessons Learnt: First 12 Months In Business

How To Work With New Clients

Neil Sheth

7 January 2021

When it comes to working with new clients, there are a lot of ways to go about it. I’ve had clients ask to work with me in a number of different ways, including:

  • 1:1 coaching
  • Short term consulting project
  • We do the work for you on a monthly basis (service)
  • We do the work for you on over a specific timeframe e.g. 3 months
  • Strategy workshops
  • Team training

So If you can think of a way to work with a client, I’ve probably done it.

But with so many different ways of working, it can be a bit frustrating choosing the best approach. In today’s blog, I’m going to show you how I ended up finding my sweet spot of working with new clients.

Advice that I’ve come across

First, let’s start with the different advice that I’ve come across in my time working with clients. The advice around how best to work with clients generally falls within three buckets:

  1. Done for you: you do all the work for the client
  2. Done with you: you do the work with the client i.e. consulting
  3. Do it yourself: training to allow the client to do the work themselves

When I first started, I mainly focused on a mix of done for you and done with you.

What I actually did in the first 12 months:

I took whatever I could get and gave the customer what they wanted in the way they wanted.

At the time, I thought if I took that approach, then it would reduce client friction and increase my chances of turning them into a client. Knowing what I know now, I had the wrong mindset, which we’ll get into next.

What I would do differently

Working with clients

If you let a client dictate the way you work, that will not only dictate the way you work (obviously!) but only adds extra work for you in the long term – as you’re now offering multiple services in multiple ways.

If I were to do things differently, I probably would’ve chosen my preferred approach earlier and informed the client of the way I work. I would’ve said something along the lines of, “I understand what you’re looking for help with, here’s how I can help you…”. 

Also, I found that strategy workshops and team training events were too time-consuming, exhausting and generally didn’t lead to further work.

1:1 Coaching

1:1 coaching with the right clients is similar to the workshops and team training, but what worked really well for me was that I could offer customers packages of 6 sessions. This not only kept the money coming in, but working with people intimately helped me understand their challenges so much better, and find confidence in what I was helping them with. 

Those small learning steps lead to me being able to confidently run workshops and sales calls with much larger companies.

There are so many different ways of working with new clients, and I hope this blog helps you to think through it. Remember to subscribe to my channel to keep getting business growth strategies.

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