14 Jul Tenacity Commandment #4: “Always Protect Your Client’s Interests”
Tenacity Commandment #4: “Always Protect Your Client’s Interests”
Sometimes the smallest pronouns really mean a lot. At Tenacity, we can’t avoid the moniker of “consultants” when we describe what we do, so we make every effort not to act like consultants when we engage the work with our clients. We want them to view us as partners, i.e. a small group that they trust enough to handle, on an outsourced basis, the strategy and implementation of best practices around client retention.
Using the proper pronoun (“we” instead of “you”) helps to frame the relationship as a partnership. Which phrase sounds more participatory and collegial?
“(You or we) need to do a better job of communicating the resolve of senior management to stand behind Right Clients / Right Terms criteria.”
Of course the pronoun “we” signifies that we are in this boat together with our client, not on the shore shouting at them to row faster.
Partners should naturally protect one another’s interests. Partnership, in all of its forms (business, marriage, golf, tennis, etc.) can be a rewarding “win – win” when we commit to each other’s success by entering in to it along side of them. (By the way, I really hope that I’m a better marriage and business partner than I’ve been a golf partner lately. If not, I’d be very poor and very lonely.)
Certainly, partnership presupposes and requires trust. We talk a great deal about trust in the business relationship when we teach “Attitude and Action® The Cornerstones of Client Retention.” We believe trust takes time to build, but it is accomplished by consistently living out the “3 C’s”:
1. Candor – Telling your client what they need to know, even when we know it’s not what they want to hear.
2. Competency – Having the skills, experience and energy to effectively do the job we were hired to do.
3. Concern – Treating the client’s business as if it were our own business.
This third “C” (concern) goes to the heart of protecting our client’s / partner’s interest and earning their trust. As we’ll see next week, it’s a process – and while trust may take a long time to build, we must never forget that it can be lost in just the blink of an eye.