Don’t Needa Buncha Clients.

I know the reasoning behind arming oneself with a plethora of clients — some big, some small, some local, some national (etc.). In slow times you have the privilege of leveraging the clients who are in a busy season when others have slowed. That way you are always hopping. Busyness in the REO industry tends to fluctuate as I am sure most industries do. The thought is if you are smart, when the pipeline between you and ABC client is dry, then you can tap your source at XYZ.

It feels good to accumulate clients. It’s an ego trip when you review your roster and see all these people who have accepted you and want to give you business. The Hell-Yeah spirit in you kicks into drive. You get powerfully motivated. You feel like you’re awesome. And, you gain a new sense of pride in what you have done to reach this point.

But, I would caution you, as I am familiar with these thoughts and feelings. And because of them I have crashed and burned on some occasions. I worked myself way too hard. I spread myself too thin. Professionally, I became a people-pleaser. Personally, I became a bear. The good feelings and thoughts turned into bad ones. The ones I had about my clients. The ones my clients had about me. Also, the ones my family had about me.

When you have a big budget and can staff yourself to the armpits, then it’s different. That is when you can sit back in your office chair, hands behind head, and smoke your cigar in peace. When it’s just you and you don’t have a budget to speak of for hiring someone to help, then you’re the one who’s shaking your head yes while reading this article. I personally cannot afford to hire anyone to file and answer phones and invoice and assign for me. I pretty much do it all at this point. Maybe you do too. If that is the case, I know the desire to grow and the temptation to do so with lightning speed. But, given time, this innocent desire and this natural temptation become the evil angel on your shoulder.

You don’t need a bunch of clients — not all at once, and certainly not in the beginning stages of your business. To focus your efforts solely on building your clientele is counterproductive and exhausting. You should instead do the following:

1. Expand Your Opportunities With Existing Clients. Instead of sitting around and worrying about the few clients you have, leverage your opportunities with the ones you do have. For example, the type of service I provided for one client in particular at the beginning was strictly construction-related. In time, his trust in my level of service spiked. He is a strongly entrepreneurial person and is always looking for ways to expand his reach. Because he had a good experience with me, and saw that I am also entrepreneurial, we had a discussion. Now, I am getting my real estate license. Now, when or if business from this client slows on the construction end, I can put my selling hat on. And this is already working.

This is a case in point that it is not necessary to have a large clientele. With wisdom, you can create more business from the few clients you have. It is easier to keep up with one client who is giving you ten projects than ten clients who are giving you one. And, speaking from experience, the feeling you get when you know the one client trusts you enough to help you grow while he grows is more satisfying than the pride that comes with loading your basket with more clients. Use the same mental edge that helped you start your business to see what else you can offer your existing clients. Be creative. Nudge them on occasion and ask, “Have you ever thought of….” Discuss an avenue with them where both of you can go together and, as a result, both of your businesses will grow. Be willing, also, to learn something new in order to move in this direction.

2. Make Relationships More Important Than The Almighty Dollar. The failure of many small businesses that grow to fast is they become too thin. The reason for this is they do not allow themselves the opportunity to build relationships with their clients. The pressure to keep up with business flowing in from all sides weighs in. And, some of these clients may be hard to work with.

It is not enjoyable to work for buttholes. You might reason that if you are amassing wealth and this wealth is coming from the biggest jerk in the universe, then as far as you are concerned his insults, his erratic behavior, and his megalomania are endurable. Wrong! There comes a time when Ben Franklin himself speaks from the $100 bills you are rolling in and tells you that you’re a poser.

I have had numerous bad experiences with unreasonable clients for the sake of building my clientele. In the REO industry, the unfortunate experience is that you may gain these rude clients you arm you with a ton of work and then give ungodly due dates. To please them, you focus your time and valuable energy running the globe to help them. Then, you still might not get paid. There are lots of shady people out there.

The wise thing is to dig in with the few clients you do have and build your relationship. Get to know them as people. Become familiar with what they value. Like them enough to go the extra mile without feeling obligated. A relationship goes two ways, no matter where it is played out. In business, when you are perceived as trustworthy, your clients will look for ways to help you make money. Conversely, you will do the same for them.

3. Fulfill Well The Assignments You Receive From Existing Clients. I actually got this lecture from one of my contractors. I called him, nervous about how slow it was out there. He told me that things would pick up and, helped me to see that I was taking my eyes off the business I was getting. True dat. My assignment list was not completely dry at the time, but here I was worrying about work.

It is essential to look ahead at all times, especially as it related to lengthening your lifespan. But, it is also important that you not miss the forest for the trees. All work is valuable. Jerry McGuire taught us that — one client and none on the horizon. In the end that client rocked his business.

If you have just a few assignments on your desk, and it appears that business has slowed, this is not a signal that you should be concerned. It is an opportunity to show how important each assignment is to you. If you have good, strong clients you have a legitimate work flow there will be times when the pace slows. But, if you did your homework and this client is reliable, and if they are going places, then you just need to calm down. Take a breath. And, treat everything they give you like gold.

You don’t need a bunch of clients. What you need, especially in the starting stages, is vision. The clear vision to see that accumulating more clients is not going to make things easier for you. Fewer clients, chosen well, will help you grow.

Integrity REO Solutions doesn’t want alot of clients. We want a few clients who are right for us. We’re not snobs, we’re just smart. And, we think our strategy will help us stay around for a while.

Hope you do too.


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