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This year we were regularly asked by clients on our programmes:

How can we make our firm stand out from the competition? How can we get new clients to buy from us and how can we get our existing clients to refer more contacts to us?

The key is this: it doesn’t matter why you think you are different or why you think clients buy from you.

All that matters is what the client thinks.

Your firm’s difference, uniqueness and strength is in the mind of the beholder; it is a function of the client, not your professional services firm.

To get new clients and to get existing clients to refer more business you need to have a clear understanding of the client’s perspective of your firm.

  • What do they really think of you?
  • What do they admire or dislike?
  • Why do they buy from you and why do they (or don’t they) refer you to their own contacts?

In order to get our participants to really think about their clients’ perspectives we often run an exercise with them:

If your clients had a ringtone for you (or your firm) what would it be?

Would there be a difference between the ringtone you thought they had and the one they actually have?

Try it for yourself.

Ask your clients what ringtone they would choose. It is an excellent way to try to understand the mind of your clients and their perspective of your firm.

Below we have put together a few examples of ringtones professional services advisors might think their clients have for them and the ringtone their clients might actually have. We would love to get some of your own examples so please let us know in the comments section below. To turn the tables, we have also put together a few ringtones you might have for some of your own clients…

What the consultant thinks the client’s ringtone is:

“Nobody does it better…”

“You’re simply the best…”

“Like a bridge over troubled water…”

“You make my dreams come true”

“God knows what I’d be without you…”

“We have all the time in the world…”

“Where everybody knows your name…”

“Every little thing she does is magic…”

“I’ve got my mind set
on you…”

What the client’s ringtone actually is:

“Everyday I love you less and less…”

“You’re so vain”

“We’re on a road to nowhere…”

“I want to break free”

“He’s Misstra Know-It-All”

“Money, Money, Money…”

“Stuck in a moment I can’t get out of…”

“You’re the devil in disguise…”

“We can’t go on together with suspicious minds…”

On the other hand: Ringtones you may have for some of your own clients…

“You can’t always get what you want…”

“Money’s too tight to mention…”

“You don’t bring me flowers anymore…”

“I want it all…”

“I am the one and only…”

“I want to break free…”


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