For an entrepreneur, having a satisfied client is the most important resume. You can’t fake it and you can’t pay for it. It takes a while to build up a list of satisfied clients. However, once you have it, it’s like holding onto gold. You’ll be able to use that list of clients to bring in new jobs and charge more for them while you’re at it. Here are three reasons why you should start creating a list of satisfied clients, and chuck the resume in the garbage can where it belongs.
1. Your History is Irrelevant
If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re working for yourself, your history is irrelevant. A prospective client doesn’t care where you went to high school, what you studied in college, whether you graduated from college, or how many times you’ve visited Florida. He cares about one thing.
Can you help me to solve a problem, and make my company more money?
If that client can read feedback from people you’ve worked with, or talk to people you’ve worked with, that’s going to be a way more effective way to convince him of your value.
2. Good Communication is Crucial
When you’re working with a client it’s critical to be accessible and easy to contact. You’d be surprised by how many people screw up this simple idea. They answer their emails late, or not at all. This makes it harder for a client to work with you, and they’re less likely to hire you again. A resume doesn’t tell a perspective client anything about your communication habits. Feedback from past clients does.
3. A Resume is Too Commonplace
My dad has been a business owner for more than twenty years. When I was a kid I would occasionally see the pile of applications that formed on his desk. When you see twenty or thirty of them stacked on top of each other, they no longer seem to represent human potential. That’s just a small business. Imagine if you’re sending in an application for a company which will receive hundreds..
Imagine how much more attention you would receive if you mailed my father’s business a letter. Inside you wrote three lines about yourself, and included the name and phone number of three other people you had worked with who would recommend you. That would stick out from the pile.
You wouldn’t have to mail many of these letters before you got a job.
How You Can Start Building a Satisfied Client List
Unlike a resume, you can’t fake a client satisfaction list. The only way to build it is to actually offer your clients a high quality product. Do that, have good communication, and add in a dash of going-over-the-top and you have the perfect recipe for building a great list.
You don’t have to always have phone numbers or emails either. If you’ve done a good job for a client, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. They’ll be happy to give it. You can then take that and put it on your website. This doesn’t have to be fancy, my own list of feedback from clients is very simple. It gets the job done though.
Today I got my highest paying job to date, and I got it because my new client from Hong Kong read what other clients wrote about me. Twice during the interview she mentioned my client feedback list. She never asked me where I went to college, what my last job was, or what my address is (which is great, because I couldn’t tell you my Ukrainian address to save my life).
If you’re an entrepreneur, having satisfied clients is the new resume. Start building your list today.