‘Just do it!’ – why the step up from technical specialist to adviser needs to finally happen…TODAY!
For 30 years the profession has been talking about the need for client facing professionals to be Advisers. Our experience suggests that most professionals have not yet made the transition and are still positioned as specialists – someone who is engaged to provide a specialist service (delivered to a high quality) to their clients.
Firms (generally) have continued to be profitable, to be successful (with notable audit exceptions) and to retain a solid amount of recurring fees.
But there is now a real CATALYST for change. Given significant political, economic, social and technological factors, the next few years will be turbulent and stressful (if it isn’t enough already!) for a lot of businesses (especially SMEs) and their owners across the globe.
Now, more than ever, clients need more from professionals. They need support, ideas, reassurance, a critical friend, a mentor, a business coach and access to a wider network. They need someone to help them see around corners, to navigate the turbulent waters and help them find safe harbours! Professionals need to step out of their comfort zones and expand their client horizons and conversations from the safety of the ‘engagement’ or ‘matter in hand’ to wanting to explore all aspects of the client’s business, ambitions and environment.
For example, in a recent SME based research project, a selection SMEs listed the critical factors affecting business prosperity over the long term. The top five included people and teamwork, developing strategy, business resilience, business process and leadership. Whilst these come as no surprise, as they are key elements of a successful business, how many professionals are tuned in to the client’s challenges in these areas? Are they on client meeting agendas? How can the professional advisoer support their client with strategy, resilience or leadership?
Real client service can no longer just be about delivering excellence within the narrow parameters of a specialist engagement. Professionals need to provide clients with information, insightful data, commercial acumen and create solid case studies from which clients can learn. They need to have regular, wider business conversations, helping clients to create a vision and strategy and to challenge their thinking around marketing, people, sales, operations, finance and systems.
Professionals will grow if they can focus on building trusting relationships with their key clients to the extent that they are the first point of contact to discuss issues. This means entering an imaginary joint venture with their clients, being WITH them, not just there for them. This is about providing exceptional client service.
theGrogroup has a range of solutions, including firm specific and open programmes, simulations, video resources, online and offline support focused on helping firms to develop an advisery culture and providing individuals with the skills, behaviours and mind-set to build stronger and more valuable client relationships. Please contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
theGrogroup are experts in advising organisations on how best to improve performance by effectively executing and embedding required change. We do this through our proven framework; clarifying strategy and change needs, enabling people through skills, behaviours and mind-set development and creating the systems, processes and infrastructure to lock in change as the new normal.