KPIs. Analytics. Metrics. The rise of big data and AI have made data analysis a hot topic in business, but focusing too much on the numbers can work against you. One thing that will never change about business: it’s a fundamentally human enterprise. To be successful in business, you need to harness the power of your most important asset: the humans of your company.
Imagine walking into a restaurant for a delicious meal. Shortly after, you realize that there’s no music playing, the decor is lackluster, it’s dirty, and the service is terrible. Your experience was lacking — not because the product was poor, but because of the environment. You probably won’t return to that restaurant, and odds are you’ll steer your friends away from it, too.
It’s the same with client relationships. If your sales efforts leave a sour taste in your client’s mouths, they might hold their nose and do business with you for a while, but you’re leaving opportunities on the table. You want business relationships to last with partners who are loyal and enthusiastic. But if your interactions aren’t genuine, warm, and personal, you put that longevity at risk, no matter how good your product is. You’ll also lose out on the word-of-mouth referrals that are crucial to your reputation and growth.
Your company’s ability to create personal connections with your clients requires a people-centric mentality. Creating that warm, inviting relationship starts from within. Hiring the best quality talent you can find is the first step, but you can’t just hire the best and toss them into the ring. Invest the time and energy to train them before putting them in front of a client. If your employees haven’t been coached on the importance of providing a personal and professional touch, you can’t be surprised if they fail to deliver. This also signals to your employees that you care about their success, and happy and engaged people are the foundation of a company culture that invites collaboration.
If your clients sense a lack of enthusiasm, they’ll respond accordingly. By equipping your employees with an understanding of your values, ethos, and culture, you can be confident that they’ll be effective ambassadors with clients. Using this approach, I’ve been able to retain 90% of my clients as repeat customers that have been with me for years. I’ve even hired former clients and had former employees become clients. You don’t get that sort of longevity by treating people like numbers.
Just as you shouldn’t treat your employees like numbers, you can’t treat every business transaction as another entry on the ledger. It’s a common approach to treat each client interaction as purely transactional — your business offers a service, and the client has a need for it. You shouldn’t need much more than that, right?
However, businesses can get stuck in a “this is how we do it” mindset. The client has to mold their needs to fit your catalog of services, rather than receiving tailored service based on their specific needs. Your clients are human, too. They are trying to succeed in the world, and they look to you for help in meeting their goals. Our best transactions happen when we take the time to get to know the client’s goals and needs. Once we understand their requirements, we work together to tailor our offerings to best suit their needs. This approach requires a bigger investment of time and resources upfront, but it pays dividends later. Clients are heard and understood, which goes a lot farther than just getting them a “good” price.
Be human and see the humanity in your client. One client I had was modernizing six processing facilities, each at various stages of disrepair. Some of these plants were more than 60 years old, and to say there was a lack of updated engineering specifications and drawings for them would be a severe understatement. This was a huge challenge, but the client came to us to find a way to get it done. Their success became a measure of ours, and our shared goals meant we both had skin in the game — and we were able to share a sense of pride in the end result.
Numbers are important. It’s hard to track profitability, KPIs, or forecast properly for the future without taking a hard look at the data. Data has opened the doorway to understanding our businesses even more intimately, and truly knowing what’s working and what’s not.
However, numbers alone aren’t enough information. The numbers tell a story; if you see underperformance in key metrics, you need to ask why. Is there poor communication between management and front-line workers in certain initiatives? Did you get full buy-in on an idea from the client, or are they piecemealing services to suboptimal effect? Are your managers effectively creating a productive workplace, following your processes, resolving conflicts or practicing time management? The data points us towards people, and it’s in people that we’ll usually find our solutions.
In the face of adversity, many companies see losses and make rushed decisions that lead to quick-fix solutions, like cutting back employees. However, this is a poor strategy, both short- and long-term. You’ll lose your top talent and the money you invested in them, while remaining employees see a company that might drop them at the first sign of a storm. I recommend a different approach: use the tough times to build a tighter team, and you’ll get loyal employees and clients for years to come.
By placing humanity at the core of your business, you can realize growth and success that lasts. Your company culture will create happier, more purposeful, and engaged employees who will then foster true teamwork with your clients. The best companies are the ones who can find a way to balance crucial data with the people behind it.
Danaris Mazara in her bakery, Sweet Grace Heavenly Cakes in Lawrence, Mass., two years before it was ... [+] destroyed by a fire in March 2023.Photo by Scott Su
Abandoned warehouse goes up in fl
BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Police responded to the corner of Vestal Ave and South Washington Street Monday evening after reports of a vehicle crashing into a building
Wanna invest in cannabis? Here’s startup WeedGenics’ pitch: “100% vertical integration” — cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution all in-house