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Stop. Look. Listen.

September 24, 2020

In uncertain economic times, people tend to do one of two things: freeze (and panic), or act without thinking, because they feel the need to be doing something. As an advisor, your priority needs to continue to be bringing value to every client interaction — which means, in today’s world, carefully considering your approach and where your expertise fits in. Blasting your client base with fluffy or irrelevant information that’s “trending” will only add to their confusion in an already anxiety-filled world. 

 

Simplify your approach and, as always, put the needs of your clients first.

 

Stop.

Right now, it’s important for businesses (ours included) to avoid the urge to break down customer inertia without initially planning the approach. The pandemic and its economic impacts have changed every industry to some degree – including yours, and those of your clients.  As their partner, it’s your job to provide strategic advice that will help them move forward, but jumping in without considering the current landscape can cause even greater discomfort, uncertainty, and fear. ,  Stop first, and assess how their business,  their industry, and their whole world has changed – and the degree to which those changes will impact the advice that you can be giving to  provide them continued value. 

 

Look.

This is a wild time to operate a business, and it’s safe to assume that your clients have all made operational changes to varying degrees in order to adapt. Some businesses may not have survived the impacts of COVID, while others will be operating in a different format and at a different location. Be mindful of these changes as you plan out how to communicate with these clients, making sure to communicate meaningful, timely information. If it’s not delivering practical value, don’t send it!

 

Listen.

Listening to your customers, no matter what industry you work in, has always been a critical component to successfully building and scaling a business. At interVal, we recently focused on better defining what’s really at the heart of our business — what we’re affectionately calling our “interValues”.  It’s not a coincidence that you’ll find listening at the top of the list:

 

We ASK and LISTEN — because the customer always knows the problem better than we do.

  • We always start with the customer and work backwards
  • We focus on bringing value to the customer in everything we do
  • We are intentionally empathetic and other-centered

 

In a time of uncertainty, listening to your customers is probably the most important thing you can be doing to ensure that you’re helping them where they really need it. The problems they  had before have most likely changed and so, too, should your solutions.

 

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