Over the course of my time in business, I have met with a number of clients during the sales process. During a recent visit with a prospective client, I believe I was asked the most pertinent question in all of my experience. Our team was in the middle of reviewing the manner in which we approach our services and the impact that we expect to make over the contract period. One of the principals of the prospect company asked us what our corporate values are and what my personal values are. In my opinion, this was the best sign that we were talking with the right type of prospective clients because if you truly want to partner with someone – whether in life or in business – their ability to become a successful member of a partnership is based on their beliefs and values.
After this conversation, I had a few hours on the trip back home to consider how many times we are sitting with a prospect or a client only to talk about how our performance will compared to their current performance, or how we compare to our competitors, or even how we can improve on their marketing plans or websites. If we truly want to partner with a prospective client, the conversation should include more about who we are and who they are. It saves “CYA” tactics like sending deadline emails and follow-ups with ridiculous cc: lists to prove that we are attempting to do what we said we would against elements that are out of our control. It also creates an environment of trust and of respect right from the beginning, where we are keeping each other informed and considering what is best for the business instead of just our contracted service.
That conversation helped me refocus on the corporate culture here at Wakefly, because that helps me stay true to that which is the core of how I develop my team and how we work for our clients. To take a spin from something that Richard Branson said, my job is to make my people so good that companies will always want to steal them away, but to keep Wakefly as the workplace they never want to leave. If I stay focused on that as my job, I can guarantee that I am keeping our corporate culture intact and allowing it to empower our employees to continue producing at the best of our abilities for our clients.
In closing, it was not my intent to go on a Jerry Maguire-esque tangent in this blog post, but I thought it best to stop getting lost in the noise of the marketing advice out there or trying to prove that we are skilled in our job. We will continue to post on skills and trends we notice because that is the right thing to do and we help people we don’t even know yet by putting it out there. My true intent behind this post is to let everyone know our dedication to being our client’s partner and to doing what is right for them beyond simply what they realize or ask of us.