Taking my own advice… yet again

April 1, 2009 by Andy Ebon

woman-diagramIf you read this blog, or any of my published writing, you know that I harp on the notion that clients don’t know everything that you do. Staff changes at their office. Your array of products and services evolves. Over time, a disconnect occurs.

It’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you, but for whatever reason(s), the client or referral partner, is not contacting you for the types of things you believe they should. Or, the level of bookings/referrals is slowly decreasing.

A couple of months ago, I planned a trip to the DC area to visit an association client. I’ve been working on their website for about 5 years. The Executive Director is an old and good friend of mine. He brought me in to recondition their website, among other things.

The Executive Director is not my direct contact, and he does not micro-manage what I do, or take an unusual or unhealthy interest in the service I provide. I elected to visit the association office at my expense to reintroduce myself to the staff, two-thirds of whom are new, since my last visit over two years ago.

What surprised me was my position on the organizational chart (which included suppliers and vendors). I was at the bottom of the totem pole. i teased him, and said, “No wonder no one calls me for big ideas or marketing suggestions, I’m at the bottom of the pecking order.” He seemed momentarily shocked, and answered, “Maybe you have a point.” Fortunately, since I was making a house call on the client, I would have an opportunity to restore my credibility and scope of capabilities.

This morning I gave a presentation on using WordPress software for a separate convention website and introduced some specific online software for collaboration by the association’s members.

By the end of these two days, I had completely repositioned myself as an expert, learned a great deal about the challenges of the individual staffers, and provided a positive outcome for the organization.

If you have a significant client, don’t wait as long as I did to take the initiative. Be on a regular maintenance schedule to bring them current on your company, your services, and the industry. And, most important, find out what’s keeping them up at night.

Your thoughts,

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority

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