Tag Archives | client service

A Very Wise Man Told Me This- It’s A Truth About Business And Life

David Gonski is a fixture in the Top 10 Most Influential People in Australia annual rankings. He’s on multiple boards, is much sought after as an advisor and is generally considered a very wise man. So when he laughed out loud at something I’d said, and then gave me a one sentence piece of advice, I listened. It’s a gem. This is what he said.

Let me be clear. I don’t know David Gonski. But I did manage to get a meeting with him once, where we sought his support in referring clients to our fledgling business (and to his credit and our deep gratitude, he did do exactly that. That major client is now a dear friend and a Possums reader from his bastide in Provence).

A corporate shareholder in my business at that time had the year prior purchased a competitor of ours, and I was still upset about it, believing that this broke an agreement I had had with the then CEO. I told Gonski about this. He laughed, and then gave the advice that stings still today. He said:

The biggest cock up I ever made in business – Be warned!

I still shudder when I think about how incredibly stupid I was when I made the biggest stuff up of my career. And then, 18 years later, I did it again! Whatever you do- do not make this mistake with your clients. Ever!

It was 1992. Grant was the most relentless and eager client I ever worked with. He was the marketing manager for a Unilever margarine, Becel. He lived and breathed the product. And as a good client guy and agency man, so did I. We got on famously. We laughed a lot. And were doing great work together.

Then I invited Grant and his wife to my home for dinner. My girlfriend kindly offered to cook. She worked out the menu, and bought the supplies. Grant and his wife arrived. Hugs all round. And the first thing Grant then did? He walked straight over to my fridge. Opened the door. Excitedly looked inside. And then… his face drained of colour. He literally withdrew in horror. Here’s why.

Your business will fail in 2012 unless you do this

This will shock you. To succeed in business in 2012 and beyond, you have to do something dramatically different. Do this, and grow. Don’t do it, and die. Seriously- this is serious. It’s all about the ‘X Factor’. Here’s why, and here’s what to do about it.

The three traditional ‘must haves’ for businesses and individuals to succeed today are no longer enough. And in 2012, with the acceleration of change everywhere, this will be more true than ever before. To succeed, we now must also have one extra, all powerful attribute without which we will not reach our full potential. This is what it is, and how to get it.

At a conference in the Hunter Valley near Sydney, the dinner speaker knocked our socks off. First- because he looked about 12 years old (he was in fact in his mid 20s). Secondly- because of a competitive strategy and reality he shared with us that has been front of mind for me ever since. Here’s the story.

10 vital habits of client service ninjas

To grow successful careers in services firms or deliver to your internal ‘clients’ in a world class fashion, we have to recapture and relentlessly implement an attitude sadly missing from many in business today. Without it, we will fail. Here it is, and the 10 Vital Habits of the very best professionals I know.

Winning clients is far easier than keeping them. Chuck Porter, the founder of iconic agency Crispin Porter Bogusky, told the 2010 Cannes Creativity Festival his secrets to building a great agency. “Hire Client Ninjas” was a key point: talented executives who live and breathe delivering outstanding service and value to the client. Keeping clients is the key to building a big business.

Here’s how to do it.

The holy grail of consulting – do this and triumph

“We have to become a partner with our clients.” Dream on, says I. In 27 years working on clients, not one has ever viewed me as a partner: always as a supplier. Here’s why, and here’s how to become an indispensable supplier.

Becoming ‘partners with clients’ gets talked about a lot in agency world, but it has never happened to me. We’ve had deep, enduring client relationships, but none crossed the line to true partnership. Why do I say that? I always knew that if we stuffed up two times in a row (maybe three at a pinch), we’d be out. That’s not partnership- it’s a supplier relationship.

Our mission has to be to become our client’s most valuable, most indispensable supplier. To achieve this, we have to become TRUSTED ADVISORS. Here’s how.

Eat this and you will be a true champion

In Andre Agassi’s fridge lies the answer to the type of diet we need to feast on if we want to be the best we can be. I find it hard to swallow. Do you?

A friend once asked the guy next to him on a plane what he did for a living.
“I’m one of tennis player Andre Agassi’s three backhand coaches,” the man replied.

WOW! Three backhand coaches! Agassi was clearly a guy who feasted on feedback. And they say feedback is the food of champions. The lesson is clear. We need to become feedback gluttons if we are to reach our full potential. Just as Agassi did, over many years. And here’s a simple and proven way to do it.