Dispelling apathy is a high-priority challenge in work environments. It’s important that your coworkers feel valued and are recognized as significant contributors to the team. But value isn’t earned just by showing up every day. Caring about the product or service you provide and being invested in the outcome—no matter if you sit in a cubicle or a C-suite—is a noteworthy factor in the equation of recognition.
In many ways, the relationships you build with coworkers and clients are similar to the relationships you develop outside the office. While the type of relationship is different, there are parallels in the ways you display your investment.
- Show interest in their interests, and mean it. Outside the office, this may mean checking up on your friend’s rock collection. In the office, however, connecting in a meaningful way is critical when developing client relationships. Here at The YGS Group, our client base is varied across hundreds of industries. Because of that variation, it is crucial to the success of each project to familiarize ourselves with and invest in our clients’ needs, desires, and ideas. We care about the end product or service because we care about our clients’ missions. So, how do you get to that point?
- Ask the big questions. This is about more than “how was your day?” The questions you ask your clients should focus on end goals and how the project fits into their overall plan. “What does this mean to you and your organization? What do we need to do to help you make it happen?” If you find out why they care, the path to your team caring isn’t that far off.
- Be flexible. As with any new relationship, there will be growing pains as each party gets accustomed to practices and procedures. With the combination of showing genuine interest and asking questions, flexibility makes the transition into a new relationship that much smoother. Established clients don’t deserve any less, though, and maintaining that flexibility throughout a partnership helps establish trust and confidence in your abilities as a service provider.
It’s important to be invested in the work you do and be proud of the final product. Sharing the excitement of a great product with your client is just icing on the cake when the relationship starts out on a positive track. Show your enthusiasm from day one and it’s sure to pay off.