In an earlier piece, I wrote about a business with only one client that accounted for 80% of their revenue and what happened when he lost that contract.

We consulted while he was rebuilding and thinking about the way forward. He was deflated but resilient -something I liked about him.

I felt the best approach would be to help him reconnect with the future he envisioned for his business and life and develop an entirely new strategy. As we all know the adage, if you keep doing what you have always done, you will get the same result. He was ready.

He knew that his industry was highly competitive and saturated. Still, some sectors called for specific skills and experience and securing a few contracts in those areas would be good for the business and break him out of the race-to-the-bottom pricing culture that was prevalent in his industry.

We worked on this strategy together, and here’s what we did:

1) Identified the sector he wanted to break into and the contacts he needed to approach

2) I provided him with a table to use in meetings with potential clients. In this table, he would list the problem and then ask what the impact of that problem is and when they express the impact – ask again what the impact of that impact is.

You will find after going deeper that you’re able to identify the core problems of that organisation and how it is affecting them. Clients I work with find that exercise very valuable.

3) His first meeting was with a decision maker in procurement who spoke candidly about the key challenges they were facing. Working through the table together, they identified the subsequent impacts.

4) Arrange meetings with the Managers for each site who were on the ground and could provide invaluable insight as to what is going on in their respective areas

The value of creating this table (known as a problem map) is that it identifies the critical problems in the business, looks at the resulting impacts with absolute clarity, and highlights what needs to be done urgently.

It can form the backbone of the future marketing plan, help overcome objections in meetings, and demonstrate your understanding of the key challenges facing clients.

Conducting a review like this, especially if you want to break into new markets or review your service offering, can provide invaluable insight. And can alleviate stress when your business takes an unexpected turn of events.

I am confident that the business will succeed because he was proactive, took the bull by the horns, is committed, and has challenged himself -despite his pain.

My role has been to challenge beliefs, push and provide the tools I am confident can add value and make a difference.

A contract double the size he lost may be the next victory. Who knows.