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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  June 13, 2017

When Old Clients Hate New Ideas

When Old Clients Hate New Ideas

Many of us form great friendships while at work. We trust each other and often keep in touch after the project has ended. So, it sounds logical to pick a former client’s brain when considering a new brand or offering.

It’s tempting to ask your best clients for feedback, especially if you’ve worked with them for a long time. It’s risky, though, for two reasons.

• First, they have a vested interest in the status quo. For example, if you are a sales guru whose material can also help leaders, then your current sales clients aren’t going to get it. They see you as a sales expert and that’s it.


Listen: How to tell current clients about your new direction


• Second, they depend on your confidence and expertise. If you can’t apply your new direction to their situation effortlessly, you’ll look unsure. Even if you are brainstorming, the appearance of limbo will scare off future opportunities with them. They will assume you’re out of the game.

It’s hard to repair these relationships once the damage is done. If you’re in that boat, go back and reassure them that the current arrangement is still an option for them. Emphasize that you are always looking for new ways to solve problems.

That said, when you’re ready to transition, be prepared to leave the resisters behind.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.