Oftentimes, leaders and executives of service-based businesses get fewer opportunities to engage with their clients. So how can you ensure that your team are really building high-value relationships with them?
In two minutes, Step Change Founding Partner, Jeff Cooper, shares this and more.
The text that follows is an edited transcript.
Here’s the thing: it’s often those that have the service delivery relationship that have the depth, the knowledge, and high frequency with clients. They can talk to clients five to six times a day. And sometimes the senior people, the experts in an area, or those responsible for new business get far less than that.
So the number 1 lead metric that we can have to drive the breadth of relationship is making sure that all our service delivery people are asking three questions as much as is reasonably possible. Now I say “reasonably” because being a pedant, being repetitive, and being a parrot isn’t fun for anyone.
Making sure that wherever possible we ask these three questions is the lead metric to drive those incoming opportunities and build the breadth of relationship.
1. What’s keeping you up at night?
2. What’s changed in the business, and what might be getting in the way or causing difficulties?
3. Are there other places in the business that they could see a place for us?
Now at Step Change, it’s not “Take our advice, but we’re not using it.” We have a tool for this. It’s called the Big 6.
Click the image to view and download your own copy.
It asks three provoking questions at each of the six areas that might make a client think, “Wow, there’s an opportunity or some advantage within my business.”
So we find that time and time again in service businesses that if we could just get the service delivery people comfortable with those three questions or, better yet, armed with a tool like the Big 6, which helps them ask the right questions, it lets them get to a place where they can tag in the expert, find a new solution, or get the senior person — because it’s not necessarily their job to sell things, but it is their job to most completely help clients.
Jeff Cooper is Step Change’s Founding Partner. Jeff learnt his most valuable lessons in strategic thinking by spending his own money. His entrepreneurial pursuits began back in 2004 when he started his first business, designing exhibition spaces and running events, eventually giving birth to an interactive event concept later adopted by the likes of Big Day Out and other major festival organisers. A decade later, in 2014–2015, startups Jeff was involved in raised over $1m in investment, and Step Change — which he co-founded — became a multimillion-dollar strategy consultancy, serving clients across five continents. He’s a true generalist, with ownership and Board interests in businesses from retail solar to beauty and beyond, at life stages from startup to over $150m revenue annually.