HomeThe InfluencersThe ConsultantsAligning with client agendas: the key to business success in 2024

Aligning with client agendas: the key to business success in 2024

Sometimes, we forget that clients make plans, too. We don’t mean to, but we do. Things change for them. Fresh challenges need to be faced. New ideas are required. Do we know what’s on their agenda for 2024 and beyond? Is what we offer still relevant? How does our service fit into their plans? If we don’t ask, a competitor is likely to tempt our client to go elsewhere to get the support they need to succeed.

Purposeful conversations: the path to client insights

Having intentional conversations with clients is vital as it helps us better tailor services and ensure we’re providing value. Taking deliberate steps to discover what matters to them can’t be left to chance. Casual comments and ad hoc feedback are helpful, but more is needed.  We need to take deliberate steps to understand what matters to them.

Systematic client listening involves actively seeking their perspectives, aspirations, and pain points. This deep understanding reveals untapped opportunities to strengthen our relationship and expand our value proposition.

Invest the time to do it right, and we’ll reap the benefits. Ask thoughtful questions, seek their perspectives, and demonstrate genuine interest in their journey. It shows clients that we care and is a better way of doing business.

Beyond agendas: unveiling client expectations

Our conversations with clients should extend beyond understanding their agenda. We should also explore their experiences with our firm, perceptions of our service, and areas of dissatisfaction. This feedback is invaluable in identifying opportunities for improvement and enhancing our overall client experience.

Aside from understanding their agenda, other topics might include:

  • Asking about their experience of dealing with our firm.
  • What do they value about our business, people, and service?
  • Where the weak spots are.
  • What would they like to see us offer?
  • Assessing the strength of the relationship: are these held tenuously one-to-one or deliberately managed many-to-many?

Unlocking growth opportunities: embracing client insights

Listen hard to the result and review what it means. Explore what changes can happen that will improve the management of the relationship. We can identify potential growth opportunities by analysing client insights and tailor our services accordingly. We can address their pain points, develop innovative solutions, and position ourselves as the partner they need to achieve their goals.

Be brave. Be bold. Make measured decisions to focus on the important few rather than chase too many options. Talking to clients can provide vital intelligence to inform our choices and enable fine-tuning that adds value to our proposition.

Navigating the competitive landscape

Turning to the competitive environment. What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in core markets? What do we know about the new markets where we wish to evolve your presence? Have we quantified the scope for business development? Do we know who we are targeting? What do we know about them – and how well do they know our firm?

Reputation management: shift the myth from reality

A firm’s reputation is a powerful asset, shaping how clients perceive our value and capabilities. Regularly assessing our reputation and aligning it with our desired brand image ensures we can effectively communicate our strengths and expertise.

An honest assessment of the current state of our firm’s reputation is the best way to shift the myth from reality. What are we best known for? Is this what we expected or want? What are the vital few things that deserve the attention of our people, resources and energy in 2024? Answering these questions and more is critical to developing a robust strategy for successful business growth and lasting client relationships.

Beverly Landais is a Professional Certified Coach with a senior business background. She works with people and teams to enable them to be at their resourceful best. You can contact her by email at connect@beverlylandais.co.uk or mobile: +44(0)7792 223756.

Matt Baldwin
Matt Baldwin
Co-founder – Coast Communications

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