29 Jul #6: “When People Change, EVERYTHING Has The Potential To Change”
Tenacity Commandment #6: “When People Change, Everything Has The Potential To Change” (Part 1)
Some well known sayings just kind of finish themselves:
- “When the going gets tough …”
- “The spirit was willing, but …”
- “Drive for show, putt …” (Non golfers excused)
You get the idea. This phrase, in the title above, that comprises Tenacity’s 6th Commandment has that same resonance, not only with us, but also with our clients. Truer words were never spoken, at least in the world of business. “When people change …” is a phrase begging to be completed. We are at risk when people change – let’s deal with it. Now.
This truth is so important, were going to spend two weeks on it. Whenever people change, on either side of the contracting relationship, immediate action is required to assess the situation, mitigate the potential risk and put us in the best position to make the change even work to our advantage.
We are best positioned to respond when we have built and developed our “Web of Influence®.” This is our tool for mapping relationship responsibilities. (See blogpost dated December 10, 2012, http://clientretention.com/the-blog/page/3/). Simply stated, everyone in the client organization in a position to hire or fire us – or to meaningfully influence those who can – is included in the Web. The clients included are then connected to at least three people in our organization who have the responsibility to maintain and nurture business relationships with them. Doing so is a matter of accountability. It’s not optional. It’s “the way we do things around here.”
When diagrammed, these connections form a visual metaphor of a spider web. The web is strongest when each strand is connected and intact. It is weakened, and in need of repair, when strands are broken or lost. We work with our clients to emulate the “tenaciousness” of the spider to quickly affect those repairs.
The other prerequisite to an effective response to people changes, is a consistent track record of conducting Expectations Sessions, including all members of the client’s Web of Influence. We simply have to be providing and documenting “Relevant Value” in the account to equip us to tell our story. If we haven’t been doing this work or managing the expectations process – prepare to tap dance.
Next week we’ll address the key tool for making the repair and the very real opportunity to make the new relationship as strong, or stronger, than the old. What we can’t do, is wistfully hope that things won’t really change and fail to respond.
Even though the following phrase isn’t actually Biblical, I’ll bet you can complete it, “God helps those who …”
Steve & John