I have a learning habit that has served me well over my business career and life. When smart people talk, I listen and do what they say. Believe it or not, that simple monkey see what smart person do monkey do mindset has probably accounted for 50% of my success. The other 49% of my success is due to showing up on time. And maybe 1% of my success is due to natural charm, charisma, and genetic drive.
So when smart people talk, I listen, and then I keep winning at the game of life.
Charlie Munger is as smart as it gets, and one thing he said that stuck with me is something to the effect of the best source of new business is the work on your desk. His point is that people get all caught up on advertising, selling, marketing, and bringing in new business that they forget about the actual business they already have on their desk. And additionally, that current business on your desk is the best form or marketing, selling, whatever you want to call it that exists.
His point is that if you just focus on doing a great job on the current work on your desk, that will turn current customers into repeat customers and also referrals who will send you more business when they tell their friends and colleagues about you. If you do a great job on the work on your desk, you’ll continue to be in demand and getting more work on your desk won’t be a problem.
Munger was a lawyer when he talked about this work on your desk strategy, and this strategy applies to any industry. If you’re a lawyer and you do a great job for your current clients they’ll come back to you and also recommend you. Same thing with doctors. Same thing with movers. Same thing with hair dressers, landscape companies, realtors, and the list goes on and on to every industry.
Focus on the work on your desk, customers will keep coming back and also recommend you, and there will always be new working coming in.
It’s a great, old fashioned piece of advice from Charlie Munger that’s priceless and true.
I do a ton of marketing for my business. I have a podcast, a newsletter, I blog here daily, I advertise, and I network locally. And all that stuff is great and brings in new work. But the best source of leads, and what brings in the highest quality and highest converting leads, is referrals from current clients. Munger’s focus on the work on your desk strategy has been the biggest driver of growth in my business, especially when I was first starting out.
At Rothman PPC we give ourselves a competitive advantage by prioritizing the work on our desk. It’s hard, it’s the grind, and we love it. This focus on the non-sexy day to day work gives us a competitive advantage. Munger is right. The best source of new business is the work on your desk.