One of our greatest strengths at Lev is cultivating highly strategic partnerships with our clients. But, what do we mean when we say that? It means that we take the time to get to know our clients and build trust, so they look to us as an advisor and a valued extension of their team. Read on for more details on what is involved in developing a strategic partnership.
1. We focus on developing a relationship built on trust.
Trust is a foundational element in any relationship. It is one of the most crucial steps in developing a strategic partnership with our clients. In order to do the best work we can, we need our clients to have faith in our expertise and believe that we have their best interests in mind. To set up that foundation, we really take the time to understand our clients’ challenges, teams, and goals.
When a client feels confident that we are aligned with where they want to go, they become an advocate for us to the many different teams we work within their organization. It is important to have a key stakeholder that trusts our recommendations and encourages others to do the same.
2. We provide candid feedback and deliver what the client needs (not only what they want).
Once we have established this foundation, clients often ask us for feedback on ideas, processes, and sometimes even other vendors’ recommendations. We take this role as a trusted advisor seriously by providing honest, helpful answers based on our experience and expertise. In this way, we are truly acting as an extension of their team, not just saying what they want to hear.
We add value by delivering not only what the client asked for, but what they actually need. For example, a client may come to us with a request for a specific custom report. However, given what we know about the client’s needs and our experience with reporting best practices and tools, we feel like a more robust frequency analysis would be a better fit. Rather than simply delivering the simple, one-dimensional report they asked for, we took it a step further and turned it into more of a robust analysis for them. This is an example of using the knowledge that we have on the Lev team to provide a solution that the client didn’t even realize was a possibility.
3. We collaborate on a roadmap.
Another key part of a strategic partnership is working together to create the client’s roadmap. Because we know the client’s business, goals, and challenges, and we’ve built that foundation of trust, we can develop a plan that gets the client to where they need to go in the most efficient way. And, because we were involved in the creation of the roadmap, we can be confident that the work involved is possible and the timeframes make sense.
4. We focus on proving our value and earning our seat at the table.
This is really the goal of all our engagements. Our reason for being involved in the partnership with the client in the first place is to provide value and show them that they made a smart choice working with Lev.
To determine if our engagement with a client is a highly strategic partnership, we consider these questions:
- Are we saving the client time?
- Are we saving them money?
- Are we helping them to generate more revenue to make more money?
- Are we helping them to be more efficient?