Category Archives: blow it up

client engagement basics: all hail the mighty client!

Customers get a bad rap. Whether you are a new business trying to find some or an existing business trying to please the ones you have, positive client engagement seems to be a lofty goal. How will you ever get there?

It starts with four words: How. Am. I. Doing?

Scared?

image via creative commons

A lot of people fear client feedback, and with good reason.

Customer service platitudes tell us that for every one customer that says something pleasant about our service or product, there are a million with horror stories about terrible experiences, providers, and products that they are spreading through their networks.

And, what if we have room to improve? What if the client has real feedback about where you can improve? (We are entering into deep gremlin-land here.) AND you are supposed to be helping your client: is it really right to ask them to help you?

Yes. Absolutely, without a doubt, yes.

With all of those hesitations plus more, two weeks ago, I asked two of my clients to provide case study details for some of the marketing I am doing on Noomii.com (the directory for coaches). The results were invaluable.

Hard Truth: I heard the hard truth from my clients about what I was doing well as a coach and where I could have been more rigorous.  Fully take that in: the client in no uncertain terms identified how they benefitted from working with me and what else they could have found helpful. Power boost and client insight!

Feet to the Fire: My client identified a couple of areas where I was thinking of expanding my business, and systems and processes that would have been helpful in their experiences. Hearing the client tell me what I already knew what needed to be done moved those items WAY up on the “working on the business” to-do list.

Bottom Line: Both clients I spoke with were in different situations, one recently completed and one still in a coaching program. In each case, I was able to identify the bottom line problem that came to coaching to look to solve and the changes that they have made as a result of working with me.  Both clients explained what they achieved in their own words: invaluable to future marketing efforts!

Scared? Yes I was.

But taking the one hour to go through case study details with these clients gave much more back to the business than I could ever imagine. I was invigorated, re-affirmed and excited by what I heard. Want to hear the what two clients said about working with me? There is Sam  and Gillian.

Take the jump. Open up and ask your clients: “How am I doing?”

Can’t wait to hear your results.

you vs the machine

 

As a single cog, the mandate is clear: follow the objectives, leadership, and direction of the machine. Work hard to do your job well. Your job is a small part of the overall machine’s work, but every cog counts. Don’t worry, little cog, the machine will take care of you: just keep turning. You can slip into auto-pilot, little cog, and everything will be fine. You don’t need to think about it: the machine will tell you what you need to do. And it will remind you and evaluate you on that too!

Not a bad gig, little cog. Not bad at all.

But…what if you stopped turning with the gear?

If you jumped off and out. Stood in your shoes. Decided what is important. Thought about your visions for your life and your work. Saw the opportunities all around you, even the ones that have been drowned out by the soundtrack of the machine. What if you really made choices and took action?

Your relationship to the machine changes.

It is so easy, to slip on a little cog-hat and disappear: head down, eyes averted, drifting along. But you have already felt the rumblings, haven’t you? The little-cog-that-could has questions percolating and aches for a deep stretch of long-forgotten muscles.

Today, will you open up to those questions? Will you create a space where the answers can form?

Will you choose to hold yourself as separate from the machine?

your ultra marathon

Now, I was not an athletic kid by any stretch of the imagination (all knees and elbows and general lack of co-ordination), but in the last few years I have learned to love running. My iphone has made it significantly more enjoyable with Nike + GPS and some great playlists, and now living in the mountains with a lake nearby helps too.

But I remain stunned by the intensity of athletes who run ultra marathons: the idea of running for those distances and that amount of time is whoa-inducing.

Love this video (sent to me by one of my fabulous clients) and the direct comparison between committing to something like a (whoa!) ultra marathon to committing to your ultra-mara-LIFE. Specifically:

  • Leaving it ALL out there or not going out there at all.
  • Every time you hit a wall, you have a decision to make: find away to go around it, find a door, or quit. And the thing is, once you get through a wall: everything resets.

Those runners sure are something, don’t you think?