Your client is telling you, all the time, what they need. Are you listening?
Hi everyone, it’s Michelle Royal, CEO of RIDG, where we build better innovators. Notice I said build “better” innovators, meaning we already know you’re smart. You got this. We are just here to hopefully improve it a little bit along the way.
Today, we had our Monday Mastery meeting. We meet every Monday as a team and we cover not only work effort with clients but we try and focus on one specific business issue. And today we were uncovering some marketing messaging. Basically, how do people find us? How do they know what we do? How are we listening to our clients and figuring out the problems they need solved? And it started a really interesting dialogue. We want to share with you the process we went through and the questions we asked that yielded some really great insights.
So the first thing we did is, we said “Okay, what is it that we currently say we do?” Right? This is what’s on the website. It’s what’s on collateral. You know the stuff we think people know. Unfortunately, it’s based in a lot of industry language that doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning. Things like “consulting” or “event planning” or “executive coaching” or “facilitation.” Now, we love these words. We think we know what these words mean. We fall in love with them and want other people to know what they mean. It doesn’t really mean anything at all to our clients.
We spend a lot of time listening to what their core problems are. So we said, “Okay, let’s ask ourselves another question.” What are the problems they say they have? So, I looked at the conversations that I’ve been having over the past two to three weeks. And here is a few things that people said. They were looking for “people who draw at meetings.” They wanted to “stop the insanity” of seeming to do the same thing again and again. Communicating the same thing and not getting the results or having the same meetings over and over again and not getting any results. And when I say results, it means they know what they want to achieve. You might even have a plan, but you just aren’t getting anywhere. There is a lack of clarity in roles and goals. They kind of know what the end state looks like, but they don’t know organizationally how to get there. This is like the basic of basics, “we just want to get stuff done.” Okay, alright. That’s a good start.
We thought, “What is it that they are really looking for?” What are the outcomes that they want to achieve – the outcomes they are really looking for – and I said, “What questions are they asking in their head.” I am an owner of a company. What am I asking? It’s not just what problem do I have, right? What am I asking? What is the question coming out of my mouth? Well, here’s the deal. All the companies we work with – super smart – they hire the smartest people. They have plans that they are trying to put into action. They have amazing teams. They have the most talented teams. They have incredible infrastructure and process. They are growin’ they are rockin’ and rollin’. But still, they are wondering why their team doesn’t know where they are going at all times. How come it seems like we are wasting a lot of time and resources? Why do we always have to be highly reactive to client services? Here is a good one. Why can we not be fishing? Why can’t we be fishing? Right? Why can’t we have more time off? That might be a better question. Why are we not owning leadership with our clients more? How come our clients are leading, not us? So, these are some of the questions that came out.
Now these questions made us think. This is what our clients say we do. We direct from an aligned reality. We help clients get very, very clear about where they are which is super important because that denial mechanism will keep us from that destination over and over again. So we help them direct, in other words, they are the directors. Direct from this new aligned reality. And that really unlocks this potential of leadership with their team.
When you commit to a collective win, it’s not just “Hey, this is where we are going and these are the goals we want to achieve,” it’s “I know what that means to me in my career.” How that’s going to help with the client. How that’s going to help us overall in the greater goals that we have. We help crack the collaboration code, accelerate proactive growth. Instead of just being reactive.
And some of the other things we came up with was how to scale talent. I mean for this war of talent. How do you scale the current talent that you have. And then increase the effectiveness of execution ultimately through that process.
So these were some exercises. The top three things, right? You want to do this with your team. It takes thirty minutes, no time at all. A team of five to ten people.
First, answer: “What is it that you’re saying that you’re doing that really no one cares about.”
Second, “What are the problems that your clients have that you think you are solving?”
And third, “What outcomes are they really looking for?” Ask what the questions are that would be in their mind. If you could read their mind, what would be the questions? And you hear it in dialogue, in conversation, in phone conversations, meetings, whatever.
Your client is telling you, all the time, exactly what they need. Hash it out.