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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Narrowing Down Focus and Repeating Client Success as an IT Specialist

The best way as an IT specialist to make yourself stand out in the crowd is to make your industry focus very specific. By being very exacting about the clients you take on, you will be able to ensure that you not only provide the best level of service, but that you continually get easy-to-work-with clients that will help build your business.

The first step in this process of focusing your efforts is to model your best clients. Put your active client list in a Microsoft Excel document and organize it into columns. The first column should be the client’s name, the second his/her revenue for the past 12 months. Divide this number by 12 to determine which clients are the most valuable, monetarily to you. This exercise will allow you to evaluate the following factors:
1. Customer Service: Who should get the best services?
2. Retention: Who is worth holding onto?
3. Profitability: Which clients are paying the bills?

After you model your best clients, the next step is to categorize them. You should look among your best and most active clients and determine who falls into the “micro” category, with 10 or less systems, who falls into the area of 10-50 PC’s, and then finally who is so large that, as an IT specialist, you might actually end up having to hire very high-level technical staff to continue to serve them sufficiently.

This exercise will allow you to find more clients like the ones where your expertise is the strongest. When you find the characteristics that make your biggest and best clients very similar and see these tangibly on paper, you can figure out how to find more of them to boost your business and maximize success with each individual customer. When you narrow down your focus in this way, you immediately stand out as an industry expert. As an IT specialist with a clear idea of your target client base, you will be able to build client trust and sell services more quickly and efficiently.

Posted by: Joshua Feinberg