Being recognized by clients as well as prospects as truly being client focused requires more than just a few tweaks to your service platform or client interactions. It requires that you establish a culture within your practice that at its core has a clear set of ethical client focused business principles and practices by which you and your team consistently operate.

Magic happens when every aspect of your practice is culturally aligned. You know when a prospect is not a good fit and you are willing to say no. Team members constantly and proactively find many creative ways to focus on clients as well as elevate every interaction & perception.

Too often in the financial services industry as well as in others “client or customer focused” is true in phrase only. The appearance of your office, vehicle, paper work, correspondence, presentations and even the way your team dresses has a positive or negative effect on your customer perceptions. As does how individuals are greeted, served and thanked.

To avoid only giving lip service to “client focused”, every function and action of your practice should be assessed to ensure it is solely focused on the client’s perspective & experience . It is the only sustainable way to be seen as distinct from all others in the marketplace.

To assist you with the assessment of your practice and organization Use This Checklist to Assess Your Current Culture & Areas of Needed Improvement

INSTRUCTIONS:

a)    Make enough copies of this article so that every member of your team has a copy.

b)    Working first individually, please assess your culture on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest) on each of   the following topics.

c)    Meet as a team to discuss your scores for each topic and come to a consensus on the one score that best represents your actual efforts & activities as a team.

d)    Together list the areas for improvement and the actions needed to move the scoring to a 5.
____________________________________________________________________________________

Legend
1= This area is nearly un-addressed in our practice.
5= We have total focus in and commitment to this area.

We are driven to build relationships, not just sales                              1  2  3  4  5

We have a clear vision of our team objectives                                     1  2  3  4  5

We practice definitive trust in each other                              1  2  3  4  5

Niche marketing is central to our prospecting efforts                              1  2  3  4  5

Continuing education of each team member is expected                              1  2  3  4  5

We appreciate & have empathy for prospects, clients & each other                  1  2  3  4  5

We give back through community involvement                                      1  2  3  4  5

Ours is a friendly, flexible and positive environment                             1  2  3  4  5

We deliver elevated experiences to our clients &prospects                         1  2  3  4  5

We use  creativity to boost marketing/sales/relationships                         1  2  3  4  5

Accountability practices are utilized for all team members                        1  2  3  4  5

Attention is given to aesthetics (physical space; attire, etc.)                      1  2  3  4  5

Systems are in place to track and measure activity and results                    1  2  3  4  5

We have open, clear team communication and protocols                              1  2  3  4  5

Our office visuals reflect our client’s interests not our accomplishments         1  2  3  4  5

As with any assessment and learning to know of an issue or area to improve upon and not respond to it leads to complacency, which leads to mediocrity which often leads to disaster. To guide you forward to ensure you have a client focused practice start with defining how you are or will accomplish the answers to the following questions.

1.    Are you determined to develop a customer-centric approach in every facet of your business?
2.    Is every interaction in your organization personalized and humanized in every way possible?
3.    Are you clear on how you will: a) communicate, b) educate, c) empower, d) compensate your team so they are rewarded for living out your business values and delivering a client focused outcome every day to ensure marketplace distinction and positive word of mouth advocacy?

C. Richard Weylman, CSP, CPAE, is a Hall of Fame main platform speaker, author of the current best -selling book, The Power of Why: Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace & Chairman of Weylman Consulting Group.  Please visit his websites for more information at www.RichardWeylman.com and www.Weylmancenter.com


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