In a series of articles over the coming months, I’d like to tackle some of the key challenges for event planners regarding client interactions. After helping you develop a solid understanding of your own style, I’ll provide some tools on how to “categorize” your clients through observable behaviours. This combined insight will then significantly improve your interaction with clients, giving you the ability to adjust to your client’s needs with an insight that generally takes a long-term working relationship to achieve.
Wouldn’t it be great if your clients came with an instruction manual on how best to interact with them?
Well I can’t give you an individualized instruction manual, but it is uncanny how we can categorize personalities into four core styles. Having insight into each of these core styles can help you navigate those early days in getting to know your clients.
As a supplier to the event industry and a team building coach, I work with groups to help them understand the different perspectives from which team members approach their jobs and work relationships. The goal is to help them improve their overall team dynamics, and consequently their work effectiveness and productivity. The same model can be applied to client-supplier relationships. Most people are quite self-aware and understand their own preferences, natural skills and talents, but they are not usually as aware of how those preferences and approaches are viewed by others – others who may approach things from a much different “personality perspective.”
By way of example, I worked with a client-supplier group recently that was having issues. We determined that the client was primarily an “action oriented” personality, so when dealing with issues they were focused on looking forward, taking a “what will be different in the future” perspective. The supplier on the other hand exhibited a “structure oriented” personality, so they were painstakingly taking the time to critique exactly what had happened with detailed reviews. The disconnect meant the relationship continued to suffer, as the supplier was providing what they believed the client needed rather than what the client was actually interested in hearing about.
To lay the foundation for this series of articles, the first step is for you to complete the on line self-assessment yourself. This assessment is being provided free of charge to event industry professionals. Please click on the following link to complete the On Line Self-Assessment.
The assessment should be completed all in one sitting and will take approximately 20 – 30 minutes to complete, so schedule your time accordingly. When you have completed the assessment, a personal profile report will be send to you via email. This profile report will provide insight into interpersonal relationships in general, but will also establish a base for the next step – the ability to “categorize” your clients based on observable behaviours so that you can successfully personalize your client interactions.