14 Oct The $64,000 Questions
The $64,000 Questions
It is interesting how phrases take hold and become part of the culture. The $64,000 Question was a popular show on CBS Radio dating back to 1950. In modern language, the term is still used to describe a particularly difficult or pivotal question requiring a correct answer.
The Clients for Life® Client Retention Process has a list of critical questions, which should be asked internally about our corporate relationships with each client. Usually, affirmative responses are worth a great deal more than $64,000 in the world of high stakes complex account management. We urge our clients to regularly ask themselves these questions concerning the status of each of their clients.
THE KEY QUESTIONS of Clients for Life
Our internal Web of Influence® should be asking:
- Have we solved the problems we were hired to solve?
- Have we proactively brought innovation to the operation?
- Do we have professional relationships established with each of the key decision makers within our Web of Influence?
- Do each of these decision makers trust us as individuals and our firm as a corporation?
- Will they give us an Unqualified Referral?
Concurrently, our senior management should be asking important questions about the culture of Clients for Life and their own strategic leadership obligations to the organization:
- Are we positioning our people to succeed by following a disciplined process to ensure that all new clients and contracts conform to the Right Clients / Right Terms® criteria we have all agreed on?
- Are we practicing prudent “knowledge management” (ensuring we don’t repeat past mistakes) by keeping the” Lessons Learned” (along with Warning Signs and Action Steps) top of mind with all of our people?
- Are we delivering “Relevant Value™” to every client by documenting their prioritized expectations and the metrics of our performance versus those expectations?
- Are we optimizing corporate relationships by building, maintaining and managing a broad Web of Influence in every single account?
- Are we making the quality of our personal relationships with clients a competitive advantage by caring about our client’s people enough to learn and remember the things that are important to them?
- Are we avoiding Value Gaps by effective problem solving, proactively delivering innovation, understanding “What the Contract is Worth” and communicating all of the above to our clients?
- Are we effectively using the FreshEyes® Review and PostMortem Audit™ processes to objectively understand our client’s points of view and audit our performance?
- Are we proactively using TARP™ as the template to plan for renewals and demonstrate our desire to retain our clients by exceeding competitor’s effort, desire, creativity and enthusiasm (to take it away from us)?
- Are we feeding the culture of Clients for Life by using the elements of its’ language and making heroes and heroines of our people who are effectively practicing its’ principles?
- If any of our key client contacts called us on the carpet to answer the “Dreaded Question”, (Why are you worth what we are paying you and why should we keep you?) are our people prepared to answer it?
We like checklists at Tenacity. In fact, two of our Partners (John & Marty) are experienced general aviation pilots. They don’t take off without thoroughly completing their checklist. We urge our clients to so the same in order to take full advantage of the margin of safety that Clients for Life can provide in protecting valued business relationships.
John & Steve