One of the first things that I did when I began a business coaching practice in 1998, was to enroll in Michael Gerbers Certified E-Myth Consulting program. You probably know Michael Gerber as author of the E-Myth Revisited.
The E-Myth is largely based on the story of McDonalds, one of the worlds most successful and systems-based organizations. Gerber recommends that every frustration that you experience in your business is due to the lack of a highly effective solution.
If you are a professional services firm, you are in the relationship management business. To manage relationships you need relationship management systems. The first step in relationship management is discovery. Ask the right questions of the right people and you will get the right answer.
What is your system for doing discovery? Many professionals shoot straight from the hip when doing discovery. They have three or four really good questions that they ask and then go with the flow from there. What is important about money to you? Describe the most successful period that you have experienced in your business?
To be truly successful in managing relationships and to have clients who are engaged in their own planning, you should spend the majority of your time that you interact with your clients in discovery. That means you will need hundreds of great questions to ask.
To be effective, some of these questions need to be left brain focused (logical, analytical and objective) and some right brain focused (emotional, intuitive and subjective). Getting this combination correct will lead to highly engaged clients and getting this wrong will lead to highly disengaged clients. Engaged clients are more satisfied and more likely to refer their friends and colleagues.
Creating your own discovery systems is difficult and expensive. Financial advisors use financial planning as a way to do discovery but unfortunately many financial planning programs are left brain focused and do not engage your clients. Have you ever seen a client tune you out during a financial planning session?
The best way to deliver systems-based discovery is to acquire a system. We have a broad range of personal and business discovery systems that you can acquire and be trained to deliver.
If we can help, please contact us.