Build a Brick Wall Around Your A-Grade Clients

Client Leadership Strategies

The Brick Wall

In this article, I’m going to take a little deeper dive into one strategy associated with Leadership Domain #4 – Client Leadership. You’ll remember from the 7 Leadership Domains Essay (get a copy here) that I mentioned four strategies associated with Client Leadership.

4.1 Find your Blue Ocean
4.2 Plan your key messages – USP and Offer
4.3 Plan your revenue and profit increase using The Profit Multiplier
4.4 Build a Brick Wall around your A-Grade clients

All four are very powerful strategies to lead your business growth. In particular, I tossed up between The Profit Multiplier and the Brick Wall strategies.

I’ve settled on the Brick Wall. Here’s why…

In my engagements as a Business Coach, I’ve noticed that strategies to secure new business seem to get all the attention. Granted, a killer advertising campaign that gets the phone ringing is a captivating concept for every business owner. However, a killer advertising strategy without a customer retention and ascension strategy can be like trying to carry water in a bucket that has 20 holes in the bottom of it. My observations are that client retention and ascension strategies don’t receive anywhere near the attention or resources that new business acquisition strategies do.

This is a lost opportunity. It costs more to win a new client and get them to buy for the first time than it does to get an existing client to come back and buy more often.

Speak With James About Sales Training for Your Team

6 + 11 =

The Brick Wall Strategy is about building a brick wall around your customers. The brick wall is impervious to competitor attacks. And the environment inside the Brick Wall is so good, that your clients don’t want to leave. Loyal, happy, repeat purchasing clients is the most profitable strategy of all.

Like any brick wall and brick wall around your clients is built brick-by-brick (or action by action). The result is a strong relationship based on trust and mutual benefit.

After years of delivering sales training and talking with sales and business development executives, I’ve lost count of the number of times salespeople say, “our clients are already buying everything off us, there’s no room to grow the client accounts”. That is most often said by salespeople who assume the role of Professional Visitor, not Client Leader.

Building a Brick Wall around the client is more than the corporate niceties – gifts, lunches, corporate box seats – though these sure do help. If you are going to put a Brick Wall around your client, then you need to become central to that company achieving its goal.

A Client Leader is able to communicate with clients in a way that uncovers their key goals and strategic initiatives of the client organisation. From there the Client Leader is able to develop a supply and service strategy that will best help the client achieve their goal.

This is ‘different’. It is a difference that is directed by the client. It’s the best kind of different you can get!

A client leader has a development plan for each of their key clients. One page is enough for this. It should state the potential spend of the client, the share of that spend realised so far and a goal for the share of spend at the end of the quarter. The plan should look at the status of the relationship now and where it needs to progress to in the short and medium-term. The plan should note the key goals and strategic issue for the client and how the client leader can support the client in achieving their goals using the products/services.

The client development plan should also not all of the key decision-makers and influencers in the client organisation. A plan of connecting with each of these people is required.

Depending on the size of the client base, it could be impractical to do this level of planning with every customer. However, the current top customers by revenue and the top by potential revenue all need to have this level of planning done.

I’ve seen this strategy yield significant increases in revenue from existing clients. One case is a building products manufacturer. Over a six-month period, a number of their salespeople were able to become Client Leaders. This led to a number of their clients, choosing to move away from having three suppliers and giving 100% of their orders to the client leader’s company.

Why did this happen?

Previously, these clients were ‘hedging their bets’ and keeping three suppliers ‘on the hook’.


Simply because they weren’t getting 100% of their needs met by any of the three suppliers. Therefore, they weren’t going to ‘lock-in’ with any one supplier, in case they were let down. Their focus was on risk mitigation.

This was until the client leaders in this story began to take the lead and find out the clients goals, (and the client’s client’s goals), specific procedural requirement, regulatory and compliance requirements, specific challenges being faced by the decision-maker, and so on.

The clients didn’t open up immediately. It took a few months for them to start to come round. After that initial time, more and more information flowed. This gave the Client Leader’s the ultimate competitive advantage – they knew exactly what the client wanted.

For this company, The Brick Wall strategy led to a number of clients bringing 100% of their orders over. This represented a significant revenue increase. The strategy was also very profitable. There literally was no advertising outlay and no additional cost. Just a more strategic way of communicating with clients.

I encourage you to run some numbers on this for your own business. What if you could get a 20-30% increase in spending from your top 20-30 clients? What if you could do that with zero advertising cost, utilising existing resources in your business?

No doubt it would mean revenue increase, profit increase and happiness increase for you!

Don’t delay, start now!

Best of luck.

Talk With James About Training for Your Salespeople

7 + 12 =

More Praise for How My Business Coaching in Brisbane Has Helped Businesses Like Yours to be More Profitable and Productive!


“We had the privilege of having James present to our sales team on the topic of Procrastination and how to have your best year ever. The team loved the quality and dynamism of the presentation, he is articulate, intelligent and has a great capacity to maintain the teams’ attention.
As a caffeine like shot for a quick energy boost for any sales team James is a double espresso, but the real value we got was the ongoing implementation of his recommended processes.
If you are looking for a professional, powerful and on point presenter James is as good as we have had.”

Martin Millard

Harcourts Solutions - No 1 Office Australia 2015.

“The last email that James wrote for me resulted in $247,000 worth of new opportunities into my sales pipeline… Wow! Another recent strategy James helped me with saw a 100% initial response rate from target Business Owners, a 93% conversion into appointment and over $146,000 in closed business to date with $220,000 remaining the pipeline!”

Greg Eicke

Phone Systems Brisbane.

James brought to us many ideas that we have put into practice with our sales teams. He also assisted us with our advertising and marketing to increase leads and to hire the right people for our organisation….and hiring the right people for the right positions is so incredibly important. What I have learnt from James has really helped me to grow as a manager and the company too has grown significantly from his input. I am very grateful for James and I highly recommend him to anyone and everyone!

Christopher Fitch

Sales Director, Solarwise

“Sensational, concise, workable and easy to understand. Definitely a great way to enhance social and communication skills.”

Matthew Hill

Financial Manager

“The results I got from the marketing literature I purchase from James at the Impact Factory, were immediate. His material unblocked my thought process and got me writing create ads within an hour.”

Derek Morgan

CEO, HEO Software

“James is an excellent planning facilitator. So far, he has run three sessions with our bank. Each time his process and facilitation style have been excellent. He has helped our team to consolidate the future vision and develop clear strategies to get there. The team are always very motivated after James’s sessions.”

Justine Kennedy

Branch Manager Bendigo Bank Victoria Point

Sales Training That Inspires!

8 + 10 =

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *