Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Winning Clients as the Economy Tail-Spins

I was talking to one of my newest clients this week about how they are doing as they ramp up their new payroll business. I was curious as to how the hemorrhaging economy, and the rising cost of... well -- everything, has affected their progress.

They indicated that they were doing just fine, and had a perfect solution to a client objecting to coming on-board with their service. Going after ADP and Paychex clients -- their price is, of course lower, service better, etc... The statement they use is:

"We want to offer you an excellent deal, lowering your cost for this service while everything else you are paying for is on the rise."

The moral of the story is that in every situation, there is a bright side. Here are a few on-topic ideas I've gathered up to share with you:

  1. Offer a sweet deal on Direct Deposit in order to reduce your postage costs. Tell the clients outright that you are trying to avoid raising your prices as the increased cost of fuel increases your delivery expenses.
  2. Create a marketing plan that uses my client's concept. Go after clients that need a break. You can still make an excellent profit as you undercut the big guys. They will be grateful, and so will you. You are in this together as you weather the storm of the coming "economic downturn."
  3. Find a new partner to work with that provides a service to your clients that they will love. If it adds revenue to your pocket, and costs the client nothing -- all the better!
Have a great day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My favorite question for PSBs (Payroll Service Bureaus) this week

This week my favorite question to ask service bureaus is the following:

"What are you doing this week in preparation for the onslaught of new customers that you will get at the end of the year?"

Most folks aren't really thinking too hard about this question. Tax Season is upon us, people are planning their May vacation/veg-out and maybe don't 'want' to work this out right now. I ask people the question because it brings up two key points:
  1. You're not planning for an onslaught of new customers this fall? Why not?!?
  2. If you are indeed making plans to build the business up with a new sales effort, are you planning operationally to have the capacity to serve them, and serve your existing client base without a hiccoup?

So, what are you doing to market your service? What value-added services are you adding this year to compete with ADP and Paychex? (see marketing department links on the right). If they offer it, you ought to too! It isn't hard to find good partners, and they are eager to join forces with you, since in many cases, ADP & Paychex are eating away at their businesses as well.