I have to admit, I hate the heat. Not like, oh, yeah, I hate when it’s hot. More like, I want to rip my skin off my face because I can’t take the heat. In the dog days of summer, I have found myself turning into ‘that person.’ You know that person. The one that starts a call talking about the weather. And not in that cliché way. I realized that every single client call I had last week I started with, “Can I just tell you how much I am over this heat?” Seriously. I really did that. I could not get my head right, probably because it was broiling from the heat. I, however, have no regrets about that. Would you like to know why? It’s because everyone could relate. It was the ultimate ice breaker.
As an account manager, I need to genuinely connect with my clients on a weekly basis. Real, intentional connection. For me, that’s the weather. Or perhaps, our kids. Or, food. Take your pick, they’re all my jam. I believe, with my whole heart, that for a company, a client, to fully trust us with their business, they first must trust us with themselves. There has to be some shared interest, some shared pain point. Something that draws us together week in and week out that is more than due dates and KPI’s. A shared humanity, if you will.
Clint Smith once said, “This idea of shared humanity and the connections that we make with one another – that’s what, in fact, makes life worth living.” I could not agree more. Striving to be authentic, vulnerable and willing to share one another’s burdens or frustrations or even joys is where life and success really live. The place where your client genuinely feels you care about them as a person. That you are not always trying to “sell them something.” That you just might care. GASP.
What it comes down to, is me putting the client first, always. Looking out for their best interest, always. Searching for the newest and most innovative strategies, always. Watching webinars, A/B testing, listening to podcasts. Always. Continuing to search for ways to grow my relationship with them. Business colleagues are a dime a dozen. Business partners, they are rarer. The difference? A partner cares.
So, as a new week begins, and the grueling Texas heat continues, I will start all my calls with, “Seriously, I am soooo over this heat.”
Here’s to real, genuine connections!