Owning a business can create numerous challenges – sometimes on a daily basis! One of the challenges that seems prevalent in businesses of all sizes is how to maintain a quality relationship with every client. To make this work you need to know who you’re working with.
We are all individuals, with different ideas, values, motivations, and expectations. All of these things affect how we come across and are perceived by others. Add varying communication styles to the mix and sometimes it just seems like we are speaking a completely different language than the client or colleague we are talking with!
Through my work with Karen Nutter, Chief Inspiration Officer of Coaching By Karen, I have learned a lot about where the “failure to communicate” stems from, and how to maximize interactions with clients that lead to better relationships and increased success.
As a small business owner who works very closely with clients, (in some cases communicating almost daily) it’s very important that I know how best to relate and share information with clients, colleagues, and vendors. Since marketing professionals and business consultants are a dime a dozen, doing or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can severely affect my income, as there is a long line of other consultants waiting to take my place. Additionally, I have learned (the hard way) that there are independent contractors and vendors that don’t hold the same professional values I do, which can lead to projects that are done incorrectly, take too long, or produce a myriad of other failures.
With Karen’s guidance, I started asking important clients and potential colleagues to complete one of her online assessments. The assessments provide me with incredibly helpful information about each client, including valuable communication Do’s and Don’ts. In addition, they shed light on each person’s values and behaviors, which I have used to help determine whether or not that client/colleague is going to be a good “fit” for me.
The use of assessments has made an incredibly positive impact on my business, as they have:
One of the best parts of these assessments is that Karen can combine mine with that of my client/colleague, and provide a report that offers insight as to what makes us tick, and tells us how best to communicate. Sharing that report helps build a foundation of understanding, trust, and respect, and most clients have been incredibly receptive to this process. To be honest, when people aren’t receptive, I see it as a “red-flag.”
We live in a technological world, so it only makes sense to use technology that can help us better understand ourselves, and the people around us. If you truly care about making the most of your business relationships, it’s really important that you know who you’re working with so you can interact effectively. In my experience, to do anything less is counter-productive to business success.