“The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.”– Spencer Johnson
Make your clients heroes during changing times.
We’ve been successful as a company because we do a good job of integrating into the culture of our clients. Every company has its own “style” of communication, internal politics, and business priorities. It’s important as we onboard these new clients that we are sensitive to how they operate. In some ways, a new client is like a new boss, and we just need to get used to how they operate.
When we first started doing work at Transamerica, we had a couple of deliverables that were late because we wanted to make sure everything was done to perfection. Not that we were late without notice; there had been lots of communication with the client. I received a phone call from the COO reading me the riot act for being late. Frankly, I was a little taken aback, as I thought we had been good communicators. A day or so later, I was walking through one of the TA buildings and I noticed a red book on several desks. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the title of the book, however, I did ask our client about the book and learned that the CEO had sent a copy to everyone in leadership. The book is all about not missing deadlines. Curiously enough, what I learned was that at TA they would rather reduce scope and be on time than be late. That cultural trait was embedded in their organization, and what I learned was they managed the company against milestone achievements. So, no problem – moving forward we were sensitive to this. We had a multiyear and very successful relationship with TA.
Remember that we are “Agents of Change”; all the work that we do creates change within an organization. Developing trust and nurturing relationships is critical to assisting and encouraging clients through the process of change. If you haven’t read the book Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson, I highly recommend it; and if you need a copy, let me know and I’ll send it to you. To trust you, your clients need to know that you’re going to make them a hero within their company. As you spend more time with a client and you learn more about how they operate, it’s important to share your learnings with your teammates and talk amongst yourselves during your standups. When we are hired by a client, they are making a bet on Tahzoo, so let’s make sure we are doing our part to make them successful.
Let’s go be great!