The Matrix
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The Matrix

The Matrix

The Matrix

 Ok, we admit it.  Tenacity has a Client Retention Matrix.  One of the best smiles we get when teaching “Attitude & Action®” is when we ask the participants if they know why Tenacity created this matrix.  Usually after a few tentative attempts we’re ready to give them the “wink and nod” answer: “Because if you’re in the consulting business and you don’t have a matrix, you can’t charge as much.”

Tenacity’s Client Retention Matrix is depicted below:





When we perform a FreshEyes® Review, we locate our evaluation of the status of the contract and the risk we see, somewhere within one of the quadrants.  (The “Y” axis depicts “Relationship” problems while the “X” axis does the same for “Technical Delivery” problems.

We’ve labeled each of the four quadrants with a descriptive name:

“Gnats”: Very low problems in either the Relationship (rapport, trust and a strong Web of Influence®) or the Technical Delivery (problem solution and innovation).  You see, we live in the south.  No matter how beautiful the spring day (and there are many) there’s always a gnat or two to remind us that things could still be a bit better.  But “Gnats” is good – it’s where you want to be and risk is usually minimal.

“Warranty Work”: The relationship is solid, but some technical aspects in the execution of the contract require attention.  Think about buying a new car from a dealer whom you know and trust.  The relationship may be fine, but if the car has a problem, under the warranty, you expect and deserve for them to make it right. Right?

“Counselor”:  In this quadrant, the technical aspects of the contract are being consistently fulfilled, but there are red flags regarding the relationship.  Perhaps the Web of Influence® is thin on one or both sides, often the case when people have changed.  Or, there may be barriers to trust or rapport that have developed. Sometimes we see the “no news is good news” effect when the account is in Counselor (see blogpost dated February 8, 2003,

“Melt Down”:  All hands on deck!  We’re not doing the job and the client neither likes nor trusts us.  But, it’s no time to give up.  In the immortal words of Bluto Blutarski (Animal House, 1978), “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?  NO!!”

These last three quadrants require action!  (Remember from “Attitude & Action® that our “Attitude” must be that once we’ve taken a “Right Client” under the “Right Terms”, it’s never OK to lose it.  And “Action” states that once we know we’re at risk, we’ll take every action we know to be effective in defending our contract.)  No, it’s not over.

We’ll work through some of the key actions we recommend in next week’s blog.  And be encouraged; remember Bluto was eventually elected to the U.S. Senate.

Steve & John