In the last several blogs, I’ve written about how so many people in organizations feel disengaged. We talked about how this is impacting our current client relationships and also how it could be hurting your organization’s and team’s growth.
I thought I’d share a framework that I use to help you reengage your clients. If you do work your way through this process, you may be surprised by how quickly you can restore relationships with you best clients and potential partners.
First, you must admit that something has changed about how we engage with clients. It’s not only that we have changed, but the business culture is constantly changing. Strong, long term relationships can be disrupted by changing technologies and business models. Clients have different expectations of their employees, as well as their suppliers. A candid discussion with your customers can start the reengagement process. Having a discussion about the changes in your markets can help everyone best understand evolving roles between your team and your customers.
Second, on the client side, share the way you’re changing your business to not only meet their needs better, but also to look for opportunities to better understand how you can help them reach both their short and long term goals. You should also share with your contacts that you want to better understand what their own personal and professional goals are so you can share resources that may help them met their goals. Companies are asking their employees to do more with less. Fewer resources, less training, less time, and less direction. You can help position your organization as a key growth partner for the people you work with. I believe that collaboration skills will continue to grow in importance as the rate of business change continues to accelerate.
To create breakthrough collaboration and community you must invest in resources that allow you to work more closely with your clients and partners. You can begin by providing your team with a series of programs that can be used to make you a better partner for your clients. Today, many organizations have found going along with clients on everything is a prescription for failure over the long term.
Third, to successfully engage your own team, you must be willing to train and invest in their futures. The simple act of spending time helping your team members develop career development plans and creating self-paced personalized education can provide you a significant retention tool in times of constant change. If your people feel appreciated, they are more likely to share ideas and materials with your other key stakeholders. As one of my clients said an engaged, educated team member is your best way of creating more engaged clients and customers.
Finally, incorporate client education into your relationship with clients and watch their engagement increase. One of my favorite client engagement practices is putting on programing where satisfied customers share their success with others who are considering working with my organization. For many of my clients, it’s an opportunity to highlight their successes and help them become more vision inside and outside their organization. There is nothing more powerful than a non-sales presentation that shares the success you helped happen in your clients. There are many ways of implementing this solution. We’ll share the different formats and shortcuts in future blogs on engaging your clients in today’s changing markets.
If you’re looking for more information on empowering your team you might also enjoy our newest blog at Developing Serving Leaders Are You Still Empowering Your Team for Success?
Next week we share several ideas on how you can begin building a community around your organization’s strengths and unique capabilities. See you next week.