Managing Perceptions to Build Relationships

Managing Perceptions to Build Relationships

When it comes to building meaningful and successful relationships with your family, friends, colleagues and clients, effective communication is foundational. The quality of your relationship with any person has a direct impact on the quality of decisions that get made. When the communication is poor, peopleCommunication DNA Profile start making decisions around each other because the trust has been diminished. Poor communication and breakage in trust may be the result of differing styles of communication or behavior. However, it can also be a simple case of misunderstanding another person’s words or actions.

In their recent management principle, Internal Innovations addresses an important aspect of good communication? – managing other’s perceptions. Dean Harbry writes, “it is important to realize that we are responsible for managing other’s perceptions of us. Taken to an extreme, this could be harmful and even manipulative, but utilizing self-awareness and empathy is crucial when others are left to judge. It is unfortunate but true that people will judge others by their actions and themselves by their intentions”.

When you find that there may be a gap between “what was said or done” and “what was heard or perceived”, make the effort to close the gap. Clarify your intentions to make sure that you have been fully understood. This will benefit your relationships in the long run.

How might you need to modify your behavior to manage other’s perceptions?

To read the full article on the Internal Innovations blog, click here.

The Rules of Engagement

Everyone is talking about client engagement, but what are firms actually doing about it?? Client engagement is not just about good feelings; it has emerged as the #1 driving factor in revenue growth.

Want to know how?? Heres a simple example.? I was strategizing with one of my coaching clients, Greg, a financial advisor at a leading RIA firm, and he mentioned his firm was adding two more product providers to their preferred list.

Greg called eight high-quality firms and left a message for his local wholesaler to call him back.? Out of those eight, only five called him back.? Filter number one applied:? I only do business with people who return phone calls.

Greg had conversations with each of those five wholesalers. All seemed to be knowledgeable about their products and eager to earn his business.? To close the conversation, Greg gave each of them very specific common requests with a due date. Each wholesaler promised that his or her internal sales partner would promptly email the information to him.

Client Engagement, DNA Relationship System, Customized Experiences

Out of those five wholesalers, only three actually delivered the right material, if any at all.?? Filter number two applied:? I only do business with people who demonstrate credibility, that is, say what you will do and then do it.

In the blink of an eye, we are down to three firms.

So, I asked Greg how he selected the two firms.? Was it the unique value proposition of the firm or the product track record, or the knowledge level of the wholesaler?? Gregs answer will surprise some you.? All of that stuff is pretty much the same story, he replied.

The real difference is that one of the wholesalers actually created a unique experience for me.? She understood exactly how to present her standard product to me in my terms.? The entire interaction was all about me and I felt a higher level of trust with her and her products.

Greg added only one new firm to his list.? Will your firm be the ONE next year?

Start engaging your advisors now with an online tool that gives you and your team easy answers to customizing every advisor interaction.

Learn more about client engagement by visiting the Communication DNA Website.

It Really is All About ME

I like transactions that are easy, effortless and fun.? Save me some time and the aggravation of not having to wait in a long voicemail queue and I will reward your firm by sharing my positive experience at every opportunity.

customer service experience, client engagement

But how would a call center employee know that about me if they havent had frequent interactions with me? And furthermore, what difference does it make?

The hard-edged measurable results are that you will get more business.? According to Gallup research, 23% more business to be exact: from me and from my referrals.

A few weeks ago I needed to call customer service at a major bank.? Like many of you, I was dreading having to even make the call.? Why?? Long automated menu selection, not even having the option that I need to select, then having to figure out how to get a live person, and then going into another queue that informs me I am calling at a high volume time and my anticipated wait time is five plus minutes.

To quote a popular phrase: Really?!

Then, after the wait, I finally talk to a service person, only to get the wrong information.? I had to call back two more times (and yes, go through the queue again) before I received the correct procedure.

I certainly shared my experience on the prompt email survey I received the next day.? I guess it is no surprise that no one has acknowledged the poor service or tried to make me happy again.

How many calls come into the typical customer service center on a daily basis?? 1000 plus!? The way I see it, a firm gets 1000 plus opportunities to build and strengthen client relationships.

If you are relying only on customer surveys to gain intelligence on how to create a unique customer experience, you will be left behind by the competition.

To provide unique customer experiences from the very beginning you need the right behavioral information.? And, yes, YOU CAN!!?? Find out how to know, engage and grow your clients at

Do You Know Who Your Clients Are?

No matter the industry, providers of products and services are always saying something to the effect of: “You are blind as to who is going to walk in the front door for their first meeting with you. As you work with the client a bit you have a greater collection of knowledge but still not the whole picture. It can still take 10 years or more to really know who you are dealing with”. Do you truly know the life and financial motivations of your clients? Their deepest desires? Do you know their risk tolerance? Do you know what types of products and services they want?

The reality is that most providers of products and services know very little about their clients. For the first few hours from meeting the client research shows that less than 10% is known about the client and in the medium term less than 20%. How much better off would the client and the provider be if more was known earlier?

The question I have is: why don’t product and service providers seek to find out more about their clients? One reason is that it is hard and we do not have the time. So, the key is finding a way to quickly and non-invasively get the information you want and make the client feel understood. The process must be mutual.

Our “inside out” process for serving clients is below. Most providers start at step 3 – the product providing point. Whereas starting at step 1 is key – understanding the client’s life and financial motivations. Step 2 is to demonstrate empathy by communicating on the clients terms, and then step 3 is to match the DNA of the client to the right product. Finally, step 4 is to guide the client to make the right choices.

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If you want to get started on this process, please go to and take our complimentary Communication DNA profile. Then you can see how to bring this process into your business to get to know your clients at a deeper level much more quickly for a more productive outcome.

Improving the Connection with Your Prospects and Clients

Have you considered what is going to propel growth in your business in the coming months and years? Schwab conducted a research study in March 2009 which shows the greatest 3 enablers of growth are:

1. Closing the deal with prospects – 75%
2. Maintaining quality service – 73%
3. Adding new technology for scalability – 67%

So what is your strategy for closing more prospects more quickly and improving client service? How are you going to maintain and enhance your client service? Success comes back to the old adage “know thy client”. People pay lip service to this, but do they really do it? And how well?

My view is that you will not know the motivations of your prospects and clients and how to communicate with them until you objectively know their DNA behavioral style. Once you know their DNA you can more quickly build a deeper relationship and also match them with the right choices for purchasing your products and services. Trust will be developed very quickly and your sales will increase.

This is the foundation of our DNA Marketing system (go to Our DNA Marketing system provides you with an online behavioral marketing system whereby all of your prospects and clients can complete a profile online on your website. From there you will be able to seamlessly communicate with the prospects and clients on their terms and also customize your product and service offerings based on who they are. Using this system will deepen and scale your marketing. Also, this approach addresses one of your greatest barriers to growth which is not having enough time for business development and marketing.