Looking for sustainable competitive advantage?

According to a recent post from Verne Harnish, CEO, Gazelles Institute, and author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, to ensure future success each of us needs to have people in our corner who excel in these four areas: building relationships, seeking information, making sense of observations and sharing ideas.

Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these.

Building relationships. Who on your team has access to the most brains quickly? Which are more adept at building strong, personal connections that become long-term partnerships? Which are the natural networkers who are better at continually introducing your team to new ideal prospects?

Seeking information. Would you describe your team as being on a continual quest for greater knowledge and understanding? How well would you say your team knows your key client’s business and goals? What more might they need to know about your industry, the market, your offerings? Encourage curiosity and teach your team how to ask questions that your clients may not be able to answer.

Making sense of observations. Would you say your team ‘gets it’? Are they frequently bringing you ideas and insights they’ve learned from the field? In order to discuss potential future impacts with your clients your team needs to be able to identify reasons to have those conversations. After all they’re the ones with their fingers on the pulse, so to speak. Are they only listening for what they want to hear, or are they really great at listening to what lies between the words? Do they easily recognize new opportunities that fit with your products and services? Are they aware of what they should be looking for to begin with?

Sharing ideas. With today’s technology sharing is easier than ever. In today’s tough business climate with demands for quick turnarounds there are times when your team may struggle to find time to communicate their experiences. Make sure that you incorporate the means for regular sharing among team members and have them share ideas that generated new business as well as everything else of note they encounter like pricing pushback, product integration, delivery issues, vendor information, etc. An idea that works for one client just may work for 20 more.

Aligning your team to maximize their strengths and providing them with resources, extensive training and ample opportunities to gain experience will help you stay ahead of the curve and avoid disruption.


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