Why are we in business? A very common response to this question is to drive revenue and generate a profit. Admittedly, this is one of the primary goals of our business (and many others) but to drive long-term success we must always fulfill the needs of our clients. Our philosophy at McMann & Ransford is, “you reap what you sow”. Put simply, the more we put into fulfilling our client’s needs, the better the outcome for our business.
As a firm, we apply this philosophy and know – based on the positive impact it has had on our business – that it can be applied in almost any professional services setting. Thirty years of application has proven that what you put into the relationship with your client is what you, your firm, and the client will get out of it. We like to think of our client relationships like a garden, where planting is the easy part. A fruitful garden requires tending, watering, and weeding, real work. If we don’t tend our garden (the relationship with our client) along the way, it won’t provide much fruit for our client or for anyone else involved in the relationship. We know that real work is required, but how do we most effectively tend to the garden?
Strong client relationships are fostered via efforts to enrich what the client is receiving from our work and partnership. A primary focus must be placed on adding value to the client’s areas of need, which is the key to developing a lasting relationship. As a firm we are constantly asking ourselves, “How can I help my client?” and “What are my client’s needs?”. We believe the answer to these questions are the foundation of a symbiotic relationship, where client needs are met, and the fulfillment of individual consultant’s needs and the consulting firm’s needs are a byproduct. In this model, client needs remain paramount but allow all parties to succeed.
To reap what you sow, you must understand and acknowledge all parties involved in a consulting engagement. For everyone to win, we focus on the needs of the client, which have a direct impact on the other two parties involved in the relationship.
In summary, a focus on client needs allows the firm to prosper, but it should be noted this model ensures the development of the individual consultant as well. To meet future client needs and the growing needs of the firm, individual professional development must be a part of the equation. Remember, you reap what you sow.
Written by: Dean McMann
About the Author: Dean McMann is a Founding Partner at McMann & Ransford with 35+ years of experience in consulting and professional services. He is a sought-after expert and speaker on topics of: B2B differentiation, professional services best practices, and overcoming commoditization. In addition to his extensive experience in the Professional Services space, Dean also serves on the board of various non-profit organizations.