We are in the ‘people’ business
Why do I say that? Because as experts in business development and personal change we do our job best, and grow our business to its fullest, when we build-on-going relationships with clients based on that most precious of all emotions, trust.
How do we create trust?
We have to know our stuff. – We have to be experts. This, however, is a given; the starting point not the only and end quality.
We have to know our client(s). – Specifically their needs, beliefs, fears, knowledge and how they communicate and like to be communicated with. We have to be able to share our expertise in ways that our clients understand – using their language, not ours – in ways that convince them we are prioritising their needs not our bottom line, in ways that build lasting relationships and great word-of-mouth advocates.
We have to provide brilliant customer service. – Genuinely brilliant service, not the basic ‘turn up when we say we will, push for a good deal, be more focused on “me” than I am on “you” type of activity that is all too common in our industry. We have to make every client interaction a bespoke interaction. We have to make our clients (and potential clients) feel that they are understood, we have to convince them we care, and ensure that what we provide/sell is fully appropriate – and is recognised as such. Nearly every organisation in every industry trumpets that it provides great customer service. Yet we know from our own, everyday experiences that very, very few really do. We have to be the exception. – The measure is simple: Do our clients tells us and others and how much they appreciate and value our service?
If we prioritise doing these 3 things well, we create a most significant USP upon which we can grow our business even more and stand out from the competition.
Think of yourself as a Trusted Advisor. It is a significant role. The clue is in the title. Just ask yourself, how many people do you really trust? Whose advice would you take in matters of real importance? The ideal Trusted Advisor is a person with whom we feel comfortable because we are sure they genuinely have our welfare at heart, we like them because they are easy to get along with and to understand, and we value their knowledge and expertise.
We have to earn the right to be someone’s Trusted Advisor. – It’s really a descriptor that someone should use to describe us, rather than what we use to describe ourselves. (It’s just like the point about customer service…)
Trusted Advisors are experts who can identify, respond to and match client’s communication, customer service and corporate needs, and so build lasting relationships, turning our clients into willing advocates of our business. They are committed to real customer service. They need to understand that, when all is said and done, they are selling peace of mind.
Our clients need to be absolutely clear of one thing:
We are in the ‘people’ business.