Plan. Do. Review.

Oct 25, 2021

Plan. Do. Review

I ask…..

Can you ask the really tough question? Do you even know what it is?

In 1986 a book was written called “Spin Selling”. Its author was Neil Rackham. Its premise was the concept of consultative client engagement. It has been a part of my thinking ever since. It stands today as one of the more important pieces of work for today’s world. Now, with anything is written 30 years ago, much has changed and a lot of the details will have shifted to the dynamics of today. However, the fundamentals apply more than ever. There is a question that Neil offers up that today is the most telling of all. It relates to the value that we each create when we engage a client in discussions. This needs your attention and honest response. Assuming that you have just completed a client discussion…

The question is….

Would the client have willingly PAID for the call that you just completed?

Get real with that one and work with your team to apply that criteria to the last call that you had with a key client. Time to be brutally honest here.

Let’s step into the realm of making sure that the answer to that question is YES, the next time you have a client interaction.

How do we make sure that the value that we co-create with the client is significant and that it matters to them?

It is a three-step process. PLAN – DO – REVIEW Think of a three-part circle that begins with PLAN, rotates clockwise to DO, then rotates again to REVIEW, which points back at the beginning of PLAN. A bit of an infinite circle.

Start with PLAN. At its core is the desire to UNDERSTAND the client and their challenges. BUT, not simply today’s issues. Your differentiation comes from your desire to understand and serve the client with the challenges that they are yet to fully grasp. That takes time and effort to dig out and lots of dialogs to fully comprehend. It is the single point that will make you shine vs all of the rest of the folks getting time with the client. Dig in deep, understand where they are going as a corporation and a team, and as individuals. Keep going beyond the 2nd and 3rd level questions to explore. This takes time and dedicated effort and it is worth every minute you will take.

The DO is the part that we believe we have down pat. Meet, greet, gab, tell… is the default process of way too many folks. We’ll dig into the new world order of what DO should look like later. Let’s roll into REVIEW.

We learned from studying with the Air Force many years ago that their 4 step mission process concluded with REVIEW. And that the post-mission review (client call in our terms) was where the learning really took place. Here you dig into what worked, why, what did not work in the call or the conversation, and again why? What more did we need to do? What did we discover that we did not know? Inquiry for the sake of understanding. Keep digging!

And all of that review work was aimed at the PLANNING for the next call and the infinite circle of service that we love.

The co-creation of value, from the time of Spin Selling to today is still the most powerful factor in the success of serving a client. VALUE, as seen by them and as recognized by them is in fact the “secret sauce”. AND if you create enough value in the engagement with the client then THEY will answer the question positively….

Would the client have willingly PAID for the call that you just completed?

The choice is yours, create client recognized value, or just tell them all about your world-class stuff.

CUSP rules…



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