Engaging B2B Customers in their Own Growth Process
As a business owner, startup entrepreneur or top manager at a company, sometimes you need help from an outsider to achieve your growth goals. When you finally find someone who can do it, then it’s easy to do one of two things: you either micromanage what the consultant / outsider is doing or you delegate so much, you turn into a laissez-faire “boss”. At least this has been my experience as a consultant in a few cases.
Let’s go back a bit. Why does this happen? Well, as an entrepreneur or top manager, you want to focus on developing your own product or service. Let the growth (or outsourced tasks) to the consultant. This is great if you want to develop a great product, one that satisfies the need of a niche market. However, there is only so much a consultant can do.
A consultant will give out recommendations, design strategies. and even execute these strategies, but she is going to need insider action if you want your company to truly grow.
In my experience, some customers get so immersed in their day to day activity, that they forget to act on recommended strategies. This delays results, and in turn, the progress the customer expected will not be the reality.
The way to solve this lies on both the consultant’s end, and the entrepreneur’s end. As a consultant, it is your job to constantly remind your customer about what’s going on, share reports, and highlight what’s needed from the entrepreneur’s end to move forward.
As an entrepreneur, you should be open minded and analytical about what the consultant is reporting to you. Make special room in your calendar to meet or talk with your consultant. Assign someone on your team to take action on the consultant’s recommendations, and hold both the consultant and your internal team member accountable to deliver results. Most of all, you need to be active in your own firm’s growth process.
This action-based relationship between consultant and entrepreneur, is the key to your company’s progress.