There are many reasons why some businesses have more success than others. Culture, fiscal discipline, the best people, effective marketing, good systems and procedures, value for money; they are all important, and all must be addressed and managed effectively.
While these aspects of a business need constant monitoring and individually contribute to success, there needs to be an overarching philosophy and approach that sets the framework for making sound decisions around these contributors.
The concept needs to be holistic, broad enough to cover the critical aspects of your business, and yet clear enough to provide definition.
In professional services, as with most businesses, the client (customer) ultimately measures performance. They determine and are the adjudicators of your reputation, your value for money proposition, your quality and service and ultimately your financial success.
So, it seems logical then to focus decision making for your business around the best outcome for the client, as opposed to best outcome for your business. To many this may sound the same, but there are distinct differences. To others, or in some instances, they may appear conflicting.
The key is being able to recognise and make decisions that are best for the client, without being to the detriment of the business.
Maintaining discipline around this approach can lead to some significant changes in the way you run your business. It can be simple and obvious decisions, such as allocating the right people for the client, marketing to the clients you want to work with, building relationships with clients that understand your value proposition.
A deeper more sophisticated approach to this philosophy involves thinking like your client. Understand your clients’ business, and the risks your client needs to manage. How can you help them manage this risk? This realisation changes the way you service your clients.
What are your clients’ expectations? Does a particular system or procedure benefit the client? If not, why are you doing it?
Does the client want you to take problems away from them or create more problems? The answer will determine how you interact with your client and how you do your work.
Does a client want to be harassed for business, or do they want to be helped and thanked? The answer is obvious. Clients shy away from being harassed, but embrace engagement with problem solvers.
So, spend less time asking for something and more time helping.
Thankyou beats Please every time.