19 Mar Being Proactive
Most companies simply must be reactive to survive. After all, if you’re not listening, reacting and responding to what your clients are telling you – or how they are behaving – you might not be around long. There are actionable ways to be systematically highly effective at being responsive and reactive (see last week’s blogpost).
The Clients for Life® client retention process goes much further by incorporating methodology to be the best proactive company possible. Again – let’s extract those specific components of the process that represent proactive management behavior.
Right Clients Right Terms® – As an amazing early mentor, Lou Pritchett, was fond of saying, “It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing.” Right Clients Right Terms criteria, when strictly applied, closes the front door on “bad” business. If we don’t do this now, the sales force will continue to define our business strategy for us and we’ll spend inordinate time and resources chasing rabbit trails, fighting fires and losing clients we never should have taken in the first place.
Managing Client Expectations – Clients will use their expectations of our service delivery and partnership with them to define relevant value. Transition Meetings™, Expectations Sessions and Transition Lite™ Meetings are proactive processes around clearly understanding and managing each client’s prioritized specific and measurable corporate expectations of the service relationship. That’s a pretty long sentence encompassing a very complex but critical component of aligning with clients and creating value for them.
Nurturing Professional Relationships – We are proactive when we build our Web of Influence® and ensure we are connecting key individuals at multiple levels on both sides of the contract then holding them accountable to sustain each individual business relationship.
Delivering Technical Expertise – First and foremost, we must solve the problems we were hired to solve. Of course, we know what these are – and we know what order to solve them in – because we’re relentlessly focused on the client’s prioritized expectations (see above). But we go deeper into proactivity when we recognize that sustaining the contract requires us to bring innovation, i.e. to keep the client on the cutting edge and to show them added value they couldn’t achieve otherwise.
More detailed discussions of these concepts can be found by looking through past blogposts on this website. Suffice it to say however, that those companies that are able to effectively combine and balance their reactive and proactive approaches to account management have a powerful advantage in the marketplace and the strategic freedom to excel and achieve profitable growth.
John & Steve