The world is full of rules. Some of them you need to follow, and some of them are more of a “guide” so that you don’t make the same dumb mistakes other people have. Well, the 90-day rule is one I promise that you should be following if you want to build your business and find success. It’s also pretty brutal, but here it is: if you don’t get the results that your client wants, no matter how much they paid you, the amount of money spent is utterly irrelevant in this equation. If they pay you $500 bucks a month or they pay you $500,000 a month, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t get your client the results they expected you would in 90 days, you’re screwed.
Yep. I said it. You’re screwed and here’s why you’re screwed…
It’s because everyone has a clock ticking away inside their heads as much as we all want to ignore it. This includes every client you have now or will ever have in the future. To help you fully understand this rule, here’s an example that we can all understand- your child is off playing on the playground, and you’re kicking back on the bench. All of a sudden you’re like, “Hey, where’s my kid?” That little timer goes off in your head, and it tells you that you’ve not seen them and you should have. It creates some panic, fear, anger and maybe even distracts you from what you were doing just before the timer went off.
For a parent guarding their kid, it’s about 90 seconds, but when it comes to a client safeguarding their businesses success, it’s 90 days. The feelings, however, are all the same.
If you don’t think you can do what they want to happen or at least get them on a solid road to those results in 90 days, don’t take them on as a client. I assure you, it won’t be worth the money.
Wait? What did you just say?
I realize that you just thought in the back of your head that’s crazy because you need clients and you need to make money. It’s okay. I used to think that way too.
Here’s the thing- if you make a promise of improving SEO and getting them to page one and you honestly have never done that before, it’s going to smack you in the face pretty fast when you realize you can’t reach that goal.
Sure, you might make some progress but if this goal doesn’t meet the client’s expectations you’ve just shot yourself in the ass. You’ve overpromised SEO results and set that company on a path that says in 90 days they are going to see SEO magic happen but you know you can’t do that, you only hope you can. It’s like telling a kid you’re taking them to Disneyland but instead, you pull up at a Chuck E Cheese (WTF Mom).
This is why I tell our prospects “Give me your budget and give me your goals.” This way I can see if the things I am going to promise to deliver are even possible. When I have everything in front of me, I can assess if I can or cannot produce what you expect to the standards of my company. If I can’t produce it in 90 days I won’t accept you as a client because I know that you will more than likely cut and run, be upset, and in some cases, you’ll tell your friends and colleagues that my company didn’t deliver. You want to make sure that you are providing good value for your clients and over promising is not going to deliver the results either of you wants, and no one wants that to happen.
So here’s a quick tip.
Although I usually give tips geared to software companies and tech companies, this applies to everyone. No matter what your business is if a client hires you to provide a service to them and you do not give them measurable, reasonable results in the first 90 days, you’re screwed, and after a few years of doing this, you won’t be in business much longer.
Make sure that what you’re offering and presenting to the world as your capabilities will allow you to provide measurable results that’ll make them happy in the first 90 days. If you do that, you buy yourself more time. If you can get them to a specific mile marker, they will extend your time so you can “finish the race”, so to speak. Client relationships are like time trials. That’s how it works when it comes to any service base. Of course, if you have the tools or resources that you can knock their socks off with, and you can give them instant results, start with that. It’s okay to wow them, but it’s not okay to overpromise.
Smart businesses that serve others need to have measurable outcomes and defined parameters of what the organizations they serve can expect. So providing your clients their “ask” in that first 90 days is a must or you’re (as I clearly like to say)…screwed.
So if you’re reading this and are struggling with your marketing efforts and want some help from a company that you know won’t take you on unless they can get you results in 90 days or less, contact us at the info below. Happy to help.
J.C. Granger is the CEO of Infinity Marketing Group. Infinity Marketing Group is an inbound marketing agency headquartered in Denver, Colorado that specializes in helping SaaS companies achieve their lead generation goals.