I don’t know how many of you got a chance to go to corporate training. Usually, corporate training is supposed to be fun. Relaxing on the beach, boozing and partying are common in most training. Training is one of the perks that bigger organisations use as a bait to retain their top-performing employees. I was totally hooked on to it and attended several training sessions. Our training used to be gruesome but fun.
Most of the training that I attended was based on Time Management skills, Client servicing, Pitching process, Financials etc. One of the most interesting training was Client Leadership . It felt as if I got a tool for life. It is very powerful and can be applied anywhere in corporate life. There was a two-day training in phuket. I am not sure if I can detail out the entire learning but I will share as much I could –
So, name of the tool is PRC
P – Presence
R – Resilience
C – Curiosity
This means an aura or personality that one should have, that helps in getting noticed in a group of people. The aura/personality is a combination of dressing, voice, tonality, expression and confidence. It’s like you enter a room and people acknowledges or notices your presence. It’s like walking in a manner as if you know your ‘shit’ and you are up for any challenge. An authoritative figure with a pinch of humbleness. Be humble but assertive. It is important to have a presence because as people say the first impression is the last impression. If one has a “presence”, they get immediate acceptance in the group and it becomes a lot easier to break the ice in a room filled with strangers. Presence is critical in client meetings. If clients don’t think high of you in the first meeting, it is difficult to get them to listen to what you have to say.
This means taking a step back in a crisis situation and understand the real reason of the problem. There are many times when we are in the midst of the crisis and we try to resolve immediately. Our reaction is in response to what just happened. For example – a client is angry because the proposal is not delivered at a particular time. In order to handle this situation, one needs to understand the problem first. Is the real problem that proposal was not delivered on time or is the problem that client is having an internal pressure due to which he is upset and the agency is only facing the frustrated client? In this situation, the prime responsibility is to take the shit and be calm in the high-pressure situation. Deliver the proposal as soon as possible. I am very confident that the same client is going to appreciate the efforts and patience. And in return treat you as a partner.
This is one of the most important tools. If it can be used successfully than half the battle is won. This tool is most effective during briefing sessions. When a client is talking to you about resolving a problem, be curious and ask questions. Probe to know the real objective of the proposal. Be careful when asking questions because your objective should be to find out the real reason. The client shouldn’t feel that you are stupid and asking unnecessary questions. Because at times, client themselves don’t know what they are not telling you. Media agencies have tried to use a template to flesh out a media brief. But it failed. No one likes to fill in templates. It is easy to talk through the brief. Also, the template may not help you find out some crucial information that is unique to each brief. Therefore, templates fail.
This was one of the most difficult tools for me to learn. Because it’s not the questions but asking right questions is difficult. This is something that would come with practice and experience. But once you have conquered the “Art of asking right questions” then there is no stopping for you. Account servicing would be a cake walk.
These were some of the “Client Servicing” tools that have really helped me. And now I am passing on to you to benefit from them. If you have any queries regarding any of the above tools, drop me a note.