December 29, 2010
Filed under: Tip of the Day
Michelle Yurcak, president of Premium Event Services in Michigan, says 2011 will be a growth year for many and gives these five key strategies for getting there.
1. Educate yourself and your clients. “It is critical that companies not only continue to educate themselves in the industry they are in, but that they are educated about their clients, and educate their clients,” Yurcak says. “Commit to attending at least two educational events specific to your industry, reading publications focused on your industry, and keep up to speed on your industry’s latest trends. Additionally, educate yourself in the culture of your area and its people – I promise you that they have a lot to teach you. Ask yourself, what are some of the idiosyncrasies unique to your area? When you educate yourself on issues important to the people you are attempting to do business with, you win over many clients; when you speak with authority on your own industry as you are building these client relationships, you seal the deal.”
2. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” “It’s easy to be tempted to take on work that is not a right fit for your company, but seems financially rewarding in the immediate future. “Analyze what is your core business, and who are your core clients,” Yurcak says. “Many people might also be watching you to see if you’ve been tested and proved before they choose you – are you picking the right clients so you can shine appropriately? Not all business is good business – make sure you are comfortable turning down business that does not fit within your mission and core capabilities.
3. Be confident. “To grow in any industry, you must be confident in your expertise, and have the nerve to tell a client that their ideas may not produce the most successful results,” Yurcak says. “I have found that some clients will have a theme in mind for an event and after qualifying all of the demographics, objectives and logistics of the event, their ideas or suggestions are all wrong for them. We help them understand that, and give them an event that truly accomplishes their goals. Once you are confident that your ideas and creativity will produce the desired results your clients envision, you can begin to create that sense of expectation from a client that will give you the open door to advise them what works and what doesn’t for their specific situation.”
4. Be relevant. “It is imperative that any part of your company output is no longer status quo,” Yurcak says. “When your goal is to create an experience every time you come in contact with a client, growth follows, especially because not every company can create and deliver a true client experience. Stand in their shoes for a moment – what will he appreciate; what is she hearing me say? How can I avoid wasting any of their money?”
5. Know your competition. “I may be going away from conventional wisdom to say this, but give your competitors a pat on the back. For us, ours is a small industry, and having allies over enemies shows that we support the growth of our entire industry and not just our own business,” Yurcak says. “We maintain that we can’t be all things to all people, so if we lose a piece of business, maybe we weren’t the right fit; we believe that another opportunity is sure to follow. Grow right, grow wisely.”
From Advantages magazine, January 2011.