By focusing on your strengths and the strengths of others you can become better at creating lasting relationships with your best clients and partners. By understanding your team’s strengths, you can motivate and inspire the people on your team to do amazing things for you when working with clients.
When consulting with clients, you should always remember that to be successful your people must be successful. It’s not enough to be a great sales professional today. You must be able to manage your own team and invest in building strong relationships with key team members if you hope to keep them growing and doing great work. Your greatest leverage with a client is your consultants who work with them on a regular basis.
I think there are three keys to using your strengths to make you a better leader and business development professional. These keys help you build stronger relationships with everyone on your team.
The first key in strengths based client development is to know yourself. Since your strengths make you who you are, you must work to better understand how they do this. You should know how they impact how you see the world and how you react under pressure. Most people do not develop all of their best strengths but instead revert to one or two tried and true methods when dealing with their best clients. This can create a one sided approach to business development and relationship building. It could be summed up by saying many salespeople make it all about them. This could be the recipe for disaster if you’re dealing with people with other strengths.
The second key to using strengths in your client development activities is to better understand how your potential client or employee sees the world. Do you know what their strengths are and how they apply them to their current roles? The higher you move up the organizational chart, the more effective people become at using their top strengths. In many ways, if they’ve risen to the top of their organization, it is because they understand themselves better than their peers. They are also good at getting results out of others because they have uncovered the secret of helping others leverage their strengths. If you want to build a better bridge to what they want, you would be well served to ask them. As you get to know them better, you don’t need to ask what makes them good at what they do, just watch how they get the most out of others on their team. This provides you with critical clues to help you better understand what they see success is for them. It’s different for different people and once you begin understanding their motivation and aspirations, the better you become at helping them achieve their goals.
The third key to using strengths in client development opportunities is to complement their strengths with your own. Uncover what the person needs help with and you build a lasting relationship. Most great leaders realize they can’t be all things to all people and determine what they can be to the right people. Complementing another’s strengths allows you to enjoy the differences and continue helping growing.
Today, we ask our leaders to do so many things to be successful that if you can serve them better by giving them additional capabilities, they find ways to use and share your services with others. When I work with clients, I try to bring a different dimension to their lives. I spend time providing them with material that works well with their strengths by providing articles, podcasts, and books that help them leverage their own strengths.
When I call them, I do a quick check in to see what’s going on in their world. I also share something I’m working on that they might find value in. I see my role as helping them connect the dots so they can see the big picture. My views are not always correct, but they stimulate their thinking about the possibilities they should explore as they continue to develop their team and their business.
Want to know more about helping clients through challenging times you might enjoy How Do You Guide Others Through Changing Times?
The bonus key to using your strengths in client development is you must be willing to lead. There is a shortage of great leaders in the market today. If you’re willing to step up and provide your clients with leadership, you retain them for many years. Great leaders love to work with other great leaders. If you follow the above keys to maximize their effectiveness, you can grow your business forever and never lack for clients or great employees.
See you next week.