Who are your clients? Your firm (or Company’s) clients? Or those that hired you?
Tricky…..? Not really. First and foremost, it’s the management team who hired you – the shareholder group or C-suite management team. (Ultimately, you will become most important to them when you can extend your knowledge of how to help them – to sharing with them how they can help their clients – above and beyond) but let’s maintain our focus on “wowing” your management team, shall we?
I was recently asked the question, “Does anyone have a list of questions that a new marketing person should sit down and ask the partners/management team? Should we ask them what their opinion is of marketing, what their perception of our job is, etc., etc.?
I would like to offer that interviewing your management team is not only a great idea – it is a must – in determining what motivates them and what behaviors they will commit to assist you in marketing them.
Some important questions to ask them are more about THEM rather than their opinion and YOU. (Ideally, I think that marketing professionals should be telling management what, how, why, etc. not asking them). If you ask the right questions, you will then know the “whats, whys and hows….” Here’s an example of the questions I would ask:
- What do like best about being an accountant?
- Who is your favorite client and why?
- What do you think they would say about you?
- In terms of your strengths – what you provide to them that brings them the most value?
- Would you agree with that assessment?
- What was the most valuable service or discovery you provided last year to a client? To the firm?
- Can you give me one or two more examples of exemplary service that you provided to client? (it might seem ordinary to you but tell me anyway so I can put my spin on it).
- What if any observations do you have about the industry you specialize in that you’d like to investigate or share?
- Why did you choose to become a member of the civic or professional organization in which you are currently a member – what do you get out of it? What do you put into it?
Now can you see the wealth of information you will have obtained? This process is best done in person by the way….holding eye contact, encouraging an open honest dialogue. I guarantee that your management team will appreciate this line of questioning and, after you have conducted interviews all around, you will find that you have an increased understanding of their goals, what motivates them and what they want to accomplish. You will also make a few friends and earn a lot of respect along the way.