Don’t let this title deceive you. We are not suggesting you eliminate the word “sales” from your organizational vocabulary. It’s a valid term and a critical performance metric. But, we ARE suggesting that transforming your approach from one focused on sales to a focus on serving will open the door to significantly enhanced success with prospects and clients… and therefore productivity.
Jim Collins, in his book Built to Last, offered compelling evidence that organizations whose primary purpose is to make money are not as enduringly successful as those who are driven by a purpose. Based on our experience in working with hundreds of financial services firms and the thousands of bankers and advisors within them, the same holds true for those who approach their clients with the sole intent to sell something, which unfortunately clients have come to expect. Those organizations and advisors who approach their clients with the pure intent to serve them and fulfill on a Client Promise will naturally be more successful with their clients and, in the end, actually sell more! This inherently makes sense, though few actually trust it.
If not clarified quickly I might lose you, as the tendency is to arc to a common misunderstanding about this approach. Terminology like “serve” and “purity of intent” lead many to assume this means you just need to be really nice, show you care, do what the client asks and not push or “sell” anything. (Sounds like “relationship selling” by the way.) With this false assumption, many sales leaders and top-performing advisors/bankers roll their eyes and run away from it while others naïvely embrace it, concluding they can finally free themselves from the daily pressure of “selling.”
This is NOT what we mean. To truly “serve” in a way that will meaningfully enhance productivity calls for an intense commitment to the following:
We have worked with several organizations and advisors/bankers helping them transition to this kind of client experience. While it takes a lot of thought, work and discipline, the formula for doing so is quite simple:
- Define your Purpose (why you do what you do) and your Client Promise (what you promise to deliver for every client). This is a critical step in ensuring your focus is on the client and what you promise to deliver to them, as opposed to the traditional Value Prop or “elevator speech” that is too often all about you and your company.
- Define the key steps in your sales and relationship management experience that will ensure your approach is aligned with and fulfills on your Promise.
- Develop the key client engagement competencies (skills) that ensure the most effective execution of those key steps.
- Establish the coaching routines and practices around those competencies that will help ensure the ongoing development and delivery of the intended experience.
- Incorporate and Practice!
At Greene Consulting, understanding that every single contact you have with your clients influences their opinion of you, our purpose is to empower OUR clients to deliver a more engaging and effective client experience with THEIR clients… so as to deliver on the promises they make.
For more detail or insight on this topic or any others that may be a challenge to you, feel free to contact me at 404-324-4600 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.