One irony/observation is that when things are going well, people aren’t as open to being great men and women and building great organizations or as likely to notice greatness in others as when things are tough…
So what? How do you act on this insight?
Stay focused on long-term decision making and help your clients do the same. How? Double-down on being great men and women, building great organizations and achieving great integrity, magnanimity, and permanence. Long-term decisions should help you be great and achieve great things, not hinder you.
How do you do that?
- Complete your own best/likely/worst case scenario planning.
- Lead the way. Be proactive and create a list of questions to ask your clients to keep them focused on long-term decision making regarding your business together.
- Using the 80/20 principle, create solutions to the 3-5 most likely issues your clients have.
- Make decisions using your principles along with your knowledge and experience. It’s easy to forget about principles under stress…
- Execute decisions with your values and the virtue of magnanimity (avoid doing the minimum you have to do and do the maximum you could do).
How should you approach clients in priority order? (based on the core change-management model and a mentor of mine, Alan Weiss)
Preface: All clients are different and they are certainly not always right.
Ideal Clients: These clients place a high value on your contribution and will tend to rely on you now more than ever. They have discretionary funds to spend on the highest value investments, i.e. better decision making, with your help. Spend your time here and enlist their help with the hesitant clients.
Hesitant Clients: These people are on the fence. They need to see the high cost of not moving forward and the wisdom of having confidence in our institutions/infrastructure. They need to be reminded that the banks aren’t failing, transportation is accessible, technology is helping us adapt, etc… Spend your time here. These clients are where your success is decided.
Intimidated Clients: In these cases, clients are looking for ‘all clear’ signals. Demonstrate that there’s market share to be gained or that a faster return to business-as-usual is made ‘in motion’, not ‘at rest’. Client needs to keep moving… Don’t spend too much of your time here.
Hunkered Down Clients: They’re scared. Contact them, offer value and avoid trying to pull them forward. Don’t spend too much of your time here either.
In conclusion, I hope this plan to turn things around quickly helps you focus on what’s most important: to do some deep thinking and invest time in your key people.
After a week of telephone meetings and email correspondence across industries I’ve also included insights from your peers.
There will be a 30 minute webinar next Friday, March 27th at 10:30am CT that was already scheduled and it will address best practices/expected results for turning things around quickly… Register here.