11 Jun It’s Not Just About The Client’s Expectations
It’s Not Just About the Client’s Expectations
Expectations are immensely powerful. The provider’s ability to consistently meet and exceed the expectations that the client brings to the new relationship is the key driver of value. Committing to a process driven methodology of eliciting these expectations, refining them to specific and measurable terms, then prioritizing them into a single set of time sensitive corporate expectations is critical to both a successful start-up and to a successful long-term relationship.
At Tenacity, we’ve taught hundreds of managers in dozens of clients a detailed process to accomplish this. Clients for Life® is largely based upon an expectations based value creation methodology. Once the client’s expectations have been understood, properly managed, then incorporated into a specific scope of work, the relationship can begin on sound footing. We’re ready to sign the contract and go to work – right? Not quite yet….
There is one final – but very important facet to the expectations process. That is ensuring the client clearly understands – and agrees to – the expectations that you, the provider, have of them. That’s right – it’s OK – in fact it’s critical – that your expectations of your client are put on the table and accepted by them. Essentially, you’re saying to them, “In order for us to successfully achieve the expectations you’ve just given us, this is what we need to be able to expect from you.”
Admittedly, this should be the last thing that occurs in the Expectations Meeting. But the best time to ask for something is always just after something has been given (right?) –and we’ve just given our client our commitments. Now, our new client needs to clearly understand that expectations are a two-way street – that they have a vital part to play in making this contract work. Simply stated, in order for us to meet the expectations we’ve just committed to, these specific obligations will need to be fulfilled by the client. This is the essence of a sound, enduring and egalitarian partnership – one that cuts both ways. If you don’t start that way, it’s unlikely you’ll ever reach that level.
It’s such an easy step to skip – especially given the time pressure at the end of a meeting. We get that – just don’t skip it.
Steve & John