I have often mentioned within my blog posts the concept that “the more you give, the more you get.” In fact I had once referenced a great book called “The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg and John David Mann, and I would recommend it to everyone in business today. This concept once again came to mind over the past few weeks, as I have had the opportunity to have a meeting with several clients with regard to their year-end projects. It was truly inspirational to me when 4 of these talks lasted two or more hours!
Obviously there was some good discussion throughout these meetings, and it was very much two-sided. Both the clients and myself shared thoughts on not only the specific project they had scheduled, but just as importantly, on current trends, new ideas, and strategies that could be utilized within the campaign. In some cases, this initial discussion also prompted me to put together even more ideas to share and options that we will be meeting to discuss again!
What I always find neat about this type of conversation, is that while I am giving my expertise and ideas to the client, in return I definitely also get back some valuable insight and feedback from them. In fact, over the years, I personally have developed a very strong understanding of the nonprofit market all based on learning from the various clients I work with. This knowledge has then allowed me to gain more clients and referrals – which has helped grow our business over time.
Another thought that has come out of these meetings, is that truly our best relationships are those in which we are able to not only share our knowledge and expertise, but also when the client looks to engage us in the planning stages. They are actively looking for new strategies or ways to improve what they have done in the past. Some are wanting to see what other similar organizations are doing… and why. Others need to find ways to reduce their overall budget. Whatever the reason, often times your vendors can be a tremendous resource for you, but we don’t always take the time to talk with them. At this point, the product or service you are buying becomes nothing more than a commodity – and the discussion then narrows down to who has the lowest price. Of course saving money is a good thing… but sometimes taking the time to talk can prompt an even more meaningful outcome to your project or campaign.
When was the last time you had a good talk with a vendor? Was it valuable?