Technology powers change in Gold Member service options
For more than two decades, I've based all my consulting relationships on a face-to-face meeting schedule. I learned the model from my mentor, John Klingel. The idea was pretty simple; for each client, I would establish a regular face-to-face full-day meeting schedule as the basis of the relationship. Some clients would meet with me quarterly, some bi-monthly, and some for a full day every month. As my clients were scattered all over the US and Europe, I needed to meet with them for a full day to justify traveling to see them.
Technology, specifically WebEx technology, has changed that forever.
Over the past 18 months, almost all my consulting relationships have changed. Instead of a face-to-face meeting schedule, they are now based on a two-hour WebEx meeting schedule. While I do miss the face-to-face interaction, the program is far more efficient. I no longer need to amortize travel time into my rates. Perhaps more importantly, my clients can meet with me much more frequently, often spending less money. After all, a significant portion of the expense for face-to-face meetings went to airline tickets, hotel bills, and rental cars. Now, every nickel my clients spend with me goes towards the time we use to discuss their business issues.
The opportunity to help more publishers
After restructuring all my existing consulting relationships, I now find myself in a position to take on more clients. The time I formerly spent traveling, I can now spend helping others.
Based on these new WebEx meeting schedules, it appears that I can increase the number of clients I work with from 20 to 30. We are offering clients three meeting schedule options: quarterly, bimonthly or monthly. The quarterly option costs just $300 per month, and includes a two-hour quarterly consulting meeting with me, plus all the core Mequoda Gold Membership Benefits (webinar access, WordPress software plug-ins, discounts on all Mequoda services and live events, and a seat on the Mequoda Advisory Board).
While I resisted making this change initially, my partners insisted. After 18 months, I can't imagine going back to a system that was based solely on face-to-face meetings. It's clear to me now, that being available to my clients more frequently and when they need me the most, simply works better for them. For those who need it, we can still set full-day meetings as required. The spring and fall Mequoda Summit sessions and social events provide plenty of face time for my clients and me (many of whom are also close friends). The Summit also provides the added benefit of working with multiple clients in sessions and roundtable formats. I now look forward to each Summit more than ever.
Each client Gold Membership Program is unique. Most include our Keyword Support Option, which provides my clients and me with the Google Visibility Reporting we need to drive their organic audience development program. Many also include a Software Support Option that puts one of our Systems Directors on retainer to the client to provide technical support for their Mequoda System.
More time at home
On a personal note, I find I don't miss the 180 hotel room stays per year. My reduced travel schedule has allowed me to spend more time with my family and friends. This spring, my wife Gail and I purchased a 34-foot catamaran and have been enjoying it all summer. Perhaps most remarkably, I now have time to work on a mystery novel I've been thinking about for years. Life, as they say, is good.
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