A Decade of Service
Have you ever been convinced of an idea before that idea is even fully formed? I’ve had many moments like that but one moment in particular has forever shaped who I am and what I will become.
I grew up in my 20s and 30s convinced of this one particular idea – that your service to people can be so extraordinary that they create a lifelong relationship with you. I’ve read leadership books and articles on this concept but up until 2011, I had not seen this level of service played out in the event world (even though I knew it was important). I started my company Elevate Experiences in 2012 based on this idea – that I would always serve clients in a way that was remarkable and since then, that concept has always served me well.
What have I learned about creating lifelong relationships with your clients? Let me tell you a story.
Ten years ago, I started working with Leadercast – an organization focused on equipping and inspiring leaders through digital content and events. A good friend of mine, David Hoyt, recommended me to Leadercast. They originally asked me to lead the pre-show experience, which is one of my favorite things to do. From that first interaction with Leadercast through David, I have actively used that idea of creating lifelong relationships to give remarkable service.
How do you keep a client for a decade or more? Remember these three tips.
Listen. Isn’t it true that listening is different than hearing? Hearing is when words enter your ears but you don’t actually pay attention to the information. Listening is when you are focused on what you hear and react accordingly. Listening is the first step in serving people. Everyone has wants and desires but if you don’t focus on the words you hear them say, you cannot fully meet their needs. Listening requires humility because what they are saying might be different from your opinion or needs, but you need to listen anyways.
Pay attention. When you are in the midst of serving people, you have to be aware of what’s happening. Pay attention to the big moments and the small ones. Often times we focus more on what’s in our heads than what’s in front of our eyes. Be fully present with people and strive to notice when the environment or mood changes. Paying attention requires focus and monotasking to keep your eyes and mind in the moment.
Adjust. Everything needs to be adapted, eventually. There aren’t many things in life that stay the same forever. Even if you make a really great plan for your client, chances are you will need to adjust. You can either handle that adjustment with frustration and push back, or with positivity and a desire to make that change great. Adjusting requires the ability to assume the best and move quickly towards the new plan, even when it’s hard. Your clients are trusting you with their money and time – your job is to help them achieve their goals and adjusting is simply part of the process.
These tips have helped me serve Leadercast for a decade and I am a better leader because of it. Are there clients you have served for a decade or more? Have any of these tips helped you create lifelong relationships? I encourage you to listen, pay attention and adjust more often with every person you serve. I can guarantee that everyone you work with will appreciate it.