Since I started blogging, as my New Year’s resolution, I’ve noticed that “How To” and “Numbered List” blogs are all the rage.
I don’t like to miss a bandwagon so I’m going to do a couple of combined “How To” lists. Here’s my first attempt – How To See the World From Your Client’s Point of View – 8 Steps.
- Know yourself, exactly what you can do and what you offer – If you don’t know who you are and what you bring to the table or how you can help your client succeed, you can’t add value. You need to develop and communicate a clear value position for yourself.
- Put yourself in their shoes, then look in the mirror – It’s human nature to look at people and try to understand what makes them tick. However, if you really want to understand your client go one step further. Understand how they see themselves.
- Research your client – I’m not advocating stalking but a quick online search should be a starting point for understanding a client’s personality and abilities. What have they written, what events have they participated in, what social media do they use, what do they post about, what are their interests. All of this information will help you build a fuller picture of your client and help you understand them better.
Make every conversation an active one – Every interaction with your client should be used to gain deeper insight into what their needs and motivations are. Be proactive and alert when in conversation. Ask subtle but probing questions to find out what challenges they face, what their vision of success is, what they need right now to progress toward achieving their goals.
- Research and understand their industry in depth. Be an industry analyst. – Once you know what drives your client, research the hell out of their industry. Everyone has ambitions and goals they want to achieve. Nearly everyone appreciates hearing different perspectives on topics that are important to them. There’s no better way to get into a client’s head than by giving some important information they hadn’t considered before.
- Bring well-researched suggestions and ideas that encourage different lines of thinking –Throwing ideas around might seem constructive but it’s not if your suggestions aren’t based on solid research and back-up material. All ideas you bring should be in a state that your client sees value in. You’ll get closer to this person if an idea you suggest is one that can be executed right away. Do your research and be sure your idea is realistic before you present it.
- Be visionary in your area of expertise – Everyone loves an expert, an authority, somebody who can explain and present fantastic ideas. Your client will let you get close and share their thinking if you position your expertise well. If you have something your client can learn and improve from they will offer things about themselves.
- Serve them the news and tell them what it means for them – Stay sharp and make sure you’re delivering all news that has an impact on their business and industry. Firing headlines across is not enough. Do some analysis and critical thinking. Say what you think the story means for them and propose an action.
That’s my list. What do you think? If you have any additional suggestions about how to get closer to and understand your clients better, feel free to post a comment.