how to Sep 11, 2019

“I’ve been experiencing radiating pain in my neck and upper right shoulder for over 2 months. It’s getting to the point where I can no longer lift my kids over my head at night when I get home from work!”

This is an extreme scenario.

You might think it’s from someone doing an industrial, manual labor type job.

But it’s not, this comment is from an office worker.

The symptoms are quite extreme and have massive effects to that person’s life, but they are not uncommon, unfortunately.

Now, imagine you having the skills and tools to be able to identify, find the root cause of their pain symptoms, and then adjust and make recommendations to their workstation; it’s an extremely rewarding experience!

How To Position Yourself For Success in Ergonomics! 

Types of Services

In the above scenario I talked about a direct one-on-one consultation. In many ways this is what doing ergonomics assessments is best known as. However, it’s not the only service that you can offer your client; let’s go over as strategy that I’ve used before to build some excellent relationships with clients.

Value Ladder

Using a value ladder strategy makes for a compelling reason why a company would want to do long term business with you. And as a consultant having as much consistency with our clients makes us more profitable because we need to spend less time marketing and searching for new clients!

Step 1: Make a List

What type of clients do you LOVE working with? How many employees do they have (small, medium, or large)? Another question related to this is how much bureaucracy do you want to deal with – remember the larger the organization the more people that tend to be need to be included in the decision. This means that it may take a very long time to get into a larger organization because more people need to approve the decision!

Here are some more questions to consider when searching for that 'ideal' client:

  • What do they stand for?
  • Do they make investments in their employees?
  • Do they have a return-to-work program?
  • Do they have ‘health spending accounts’ for their staff?
  • Do they already do office ergonomic assessments?
  • Do they have an employee engagement program?

There is a matrix that you want to consider whenever you have the potential to work (or are already working) with a long-term client. This means that they’ve gotten value out of your services and you’ve been able to put in place some sort of plan to make them more PROFITABLE (aka contain costs).

I’ve developed the HEY I WANT TO WORK WITH MORE OF THESE TYPES™ Matrix, to help organize these thoughts before you make any steps forward in building a LONG-TERM relationship with a company. When I was starting out I would never turn away business no matter how ideal my client was – hey I had to pay my bills, ok?

But as I got more established, I gradually shifted to more of what I consider Ideal Clients who make it a joy to work with. 

Here’s the HEY I WANT TO WORK WITH MORE OF THESE TYPES™  Matrix:

Like I mentioned, this helps to organize how you find and keep your Ideal Clients. Obviously you want to work with clients who are respectful, organized and recognize the importance of what you do. I refer to these as High Profit/High ‘Joy of Work’ Clients. Whenever possible you want these types of clients to fill your schedules!

On the other end is Low Profit/Low ‘Joy of Work’ Clients. These clients are a drain of your energy. They are poorly organized. And, on top of that they are merely ‘checking the box’ for employee health and safety so they don’t value the work that you do.

I understand when you’re first starting out you may have some clients that are not your ideal. As you progress add more and more of clients you love working with and pay you you’re value for your services.

Step 2: Value Ladder Strategy  

As I mentioned, the best use of the Value Ladder Strategy is through High Profit/High ‘Joy of Work’ clients – even if you never worked with the before. After doing your research you’ve identified a certain subset of clients who you’d love to work with (aka Ideal Clients).

There is a bit of investment on your time with these clients with this strategy. But you start off with a lower cost item (I like a 20-30 minute lunch & learn presentation) in order to demonstrate that you are competent, experienced, and likeable. Remember in the presentation that you don’t try to sell employees or promise equipment that the employer must purchase, you are there to give some ‘low hanging fruit’ actionable items for the employees to know, like, and trust you!

Step 3: Services That You Can Offer

Based on your expertise, experience, and what you like to do there are a variety of services that you can offer clients. After your initial consultation with your Ideal Client and after you've completed your 'Value Ladder' promotion, identifying gaps and areas for improvement will drive further work with your client. It's key here not to 'shove all your services down their throats' but to offer a strategic, another 'Value Ladder' or low hanging fruit again to demonstrate your expertise. I've had a lot of success that after an initial presentation, then offering this: Discomfort Surveys to target hotspots, and then developing a long-term plan to address any concerns. 

Remember we are merely learning about their concerns, what their situation is and then offering suggestions (via the services that you offer) to close that gap. 

I’ll pass you along a list of the types of consultations that you can offer your clients. It’s not exhaustive, it’s just meant to get your wheels turning on that types of value that you can offer your clients:

  • One-on-One Office Assessments
  • Return-to-Work Assessments (WCB compensable injuries)
  • Return-to-Work Assessments (non-compensable aka weekend-warrior types of injuries)
  • Training + Short Ergo Assessments for all attendees (my favorite for many reasons!!)
  • New Hire Orientation
  • Discomfort Survey Prioritization (identify where any ‘hot spots’ are for further assessments – this is what I consider to be quite low on the value ladder and could be a secondary service to offer
  • Yearly ergonomic check-ups

Your Next Steps

So, what does this look like for you?

Remember this is based entirely of how you like to spend your time and what you like to do.

Office ergonomic assessments, consultations, and training allows you to differentiate your services. Time commitment wise it all depends on what your schedule looks like, your other commitments/responsibilities, and how you like to spend your time.

Some of my students like to spend their entire week doing ergonomics assessments, consultations, and services. Others simply like to add office ergonomics to their business, spending approximately 1-2 days a week doing assessments, trainings and consultations!

So if you’ve read this far, what’s your next steps?

A good first start is getting trained on hop to do a complete and thorough office ergonomic assessment. Knowing this gives you a foundation that you can then use to jump into ANY of the above service offerings. If this is what you need to do, I offer a complete resource for office ergonomic assessments called the Ergonomic Blueprint that opens for enrollment 4 times per year. Interested? You can join the waitlist here.  

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