Bringing ORDER to client engagement – part 6

The final element of the methodology is R; for Results.


The result was covered in part 5 as part of the win and a result of enabling a decision to be made; yes, no, can’t decide right now. Each of those has a consequence; you start work – great, you walk away – a tough decision, but if it is the result at this stage it would certainly be the right one, and the more frustrating back to qualification and yellow light mitigation following no decision.

Let’s assume that we have started work and are well in to delivery of our solution for this client. It doesn’t end there. Part of the result of your efforts to date is the ability to now grow with this client and secure future business. If you have been transparent in your dealings with your client to date, you will have established a trust relationship which will naturally lead to more work. The solution you are implementing now will more than likely need to evolve over time, or integrate to other Enterprise IT systems as it’s value becomes established. Maintaining the relationship with the customer is vital so that you both benefit from future work; a low cost of sale for the provider and mitigation of another long and expensive tender process for the client.

My summary can be made in 5 words; 5 words which were created when I was working for Esri UK Ltd. as part of the Customer Services team, heading up Customer Care. These words became the engagement philosophy which the entire organisation aspired to:

Know: know your customer; know their people, know their language, know their issues – this is the opportunity development phase

Deliver: deliver what they need – this comes after successful qualification, moving off the solution and designing the exact solution

Exceed: where possible, exceed your clients expectations. This does not mean under promise and over deliver, this means that you do what you say you are going to do, deliver on your promises. You can read more about my thoughts on this here.

Delight: take the opportunity to delight your client. There are several ways of doing this; be more responsive than other organisations they have dealt with, contact them more often, meet them face to face, listen to their opinions, offer them options, become part of their extended team, make them feel special.

Visualise: see into their future and help them understand what they can do to exploit that. This is synonymous with the Result (Grow) element or ORDER. If you are able to help your client see their future with you because you are able to understand what they need to be doing in 1-5 years time to maintain their competitive advantage, you will have a long-term client.

Know, Deliver, Exceed, Delight, Visualise.

I hope you have found this brief summary of the ORDER Methodology interesting and inspiring, whether you are a supplier or a customer. I believe that if used properly, it can help us all be much better than we are today. I would urge you all to get a copy of the book and read it fully.

The reference for this material is “Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play: Transforming the Buyer/Seller Relationship” by Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig and can be found on Amazon here.

– Neil