I recently watched a TV program (Lions On The Move) which is about a wildlife expert in Africa, Kevin Richards. Some people might call Kevin ‘A Warden’. Nothing unusual about that, right? Well Kevin is a bit more than a Warden.
The program was centered on a need to shift all of the animals in the reserve to a new location about 200 klm away. The main aim, Kevin’s priority is to shift all of the animals without having to use tranquilisers. That’s right, walk them right into his van as calm as you like and then drive them 4-5 at a time 200 klm to the new reserve.
Now that takes TRUST.
He built up such trust with his ‘pride of lions’ (28), ‘pack of hyenas’ (14) and black panthers (4) that he could go among them (most, some are still wild), play with them and be able to read their signals and be completely unharmed.
I’d like to say it all happened easy as pie as you might expect with so much trust between Kevin and the animals. Well here’s where it got interesting. Kevin still had to calm the fears of some of the lions, some of the hyenas and the black panthers so that they would willingly go into the van with the others for the trip to the new reserve.
Kevin did this by offering little treats thrown into the entry of the van and as each lion, hyena and black panther ate the treats their fears slowly but surely subsided, so much so that almost all willingly entered the van without the need for tranquilisers.
So, why am I telling you this story?
The relationship with your clients is a bit like Kevin’s relationship with his lions, hyenas and black panthers. There is a high level of trust between you and your clients based on past experiences. You’ve been doing a certain type of work for them for quite a while and so the relationship is strong and trusting but only in the work that you’ve been doing.
Then you make the decision to help your clients in their businesses which is something not done before. So can your clients trust you in this new style of work?
You don’t have a track record in this area.
This is the first time you’ve even mentioned it to them and the challenge now is getting your client to agree that it would be in their interests to let you help them.
You can hardly rush them into it, just like Kevin couldn’t rush the lions, hyenas and panthers into entering his van willingly. He had to establish a new trust with them.
Playing with them in the compound was one thing but going into a closed in van, that took a whole new level of trust. And Kevin established this trust by offering them treats, little morsels of food until they got used to the idea that entering the van was not to be feared and they could trust Kevin in this new environment.
In that same way, as you develop your knowledge and skill using new tools to help clients learn how to improve the profit and cash flow of their business you have to build up a new level of trust.
Do this in small ways at the beginning and as your client’s trust grows make small offerings they can feel comfortable with and then move to a higher level of support once when they have the confidence to work with you in this new way.
- ‘ClientSAFE’ Business Advisors Tool Kit and
- Business Analyser software
As you learn how to use them, start passing out small pieces of your new found knowledge to your clients and build up that new level of trust.