28 Jan Thawing The Big Chill
Thawing The Big Chill
The Polar Vortex has the attention of all of us. We’re seeing record low temperatures, broken pipes, robust natural gas futures and arctic icebreakers frozen in place. The climate is definitely changing, but we’re beginning to wonder in which direction!
If you recall from our recent blog of January 7, the business big chill occurs when we experience a client contact change near the point where the Revelation X™ lines have crossed and the “Value Gap” is emerging.
If we’ve learned anything over the years, it is that a key client change is always a threat. As Tenacity Commandment #6 reminds us, “When People Change, Everything Has The Potential To Change.” We simply must act swiftly and decisively to obviate the threat and defend our contract.
The response that the Clients for Life® client retention process prescribes is to conduct a Transition Lite™ Meeting. This meeting should take place within the first 30 days of the new contact’s tenure. Transition Lite is the tool we use to “onboard” the contact in three distinct phases:
The Past: Here’s who we are, what we were hired to do, how your predecessor and other influencers evaluated our work, how we’ve performed and what the current priorities are that we are working on.
The Present: “But that was then and this is now.” This phase includes an overt gesture of welcome, an acknowledgement of the new client’s responsibility and a commitment to contribute to their success.
The Future: Understanding, managing and documenting the new client’s expectations going forward and integrating them with other members of the Web of Influence®.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Transition Lite Meeting:
Q: Why is it important that the meeting be within the first 30 days?
A: Because the new client is looking ahead, not back. This is our one and probably only chance to take them in to this trip into the past and document what we’ve accomplished and the value we’ve brought. After 30 days, they’ve moved on.
Q: How do we prepare for the meeting?
A: This should be easy. If we are consistently documenting our successes by recording our progress versus key expectations (and keeping the Web of Influence informed) the data should be compelling and readily retrievable.
Q: Isn’t the reality of the “Present” pretty obvious?
A: Yes, but all of us, at some point in our careers, have been placed in a position of new responsibility. Without doubt, the thing you’d most like to hear from your people and reports is a sincere welcome and a commitment to help you succeed. (The very last thing is likely, “Well, this is the way we’ve always done it.”) Please don’t underestimate the power this personal gesture brings to building and enriching the relationship.
The Transition Lite Meeting is a powerful tool and an important account management discipline that, when effectively deployed, can help people changes actually work to our advantage.
Plus, it’s always great to make a new friend. (By the way, we have some new ones that we’ll tell you about next week in an important announcement.)
Steve & John