I conduct interviews for one of my clients. The interviews aren’t with her clients directly, but with colleagues and peers of the client. It’s what we call a 360 Evaluation.
In order to best serve the client, we get the perspective of others around the client. It helps her to better coach the client, since there are areas for improvement that the client usually isn’t aware of, and we find that there are areas where they excel and don’t even realize it.
By knowing this data upfront, she’s able to help her clients get results faster.
I love the interview process, as it affords me a behind the scenes look at humans, how we perceive ourselves and others, the stories that drive our behaviors, how things are interconnected.
It also got me thinking how seeking support outside of yourself is the key to leveling up in business.
You’ve been running your business successfully for some time and have most likely adopted many habits. While they’ve served you in the past, some aren’t going to lead you to where you want to go.
You need to try something new.
And here’s where to start.
Ask for advice from trusted friends or colleagues.
Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. You only know that something isn’t working. You can’t totally put your finger on it though.
At those times, go to a someone you trust and ask for 20 minutes of their time to talk through a problem. The simple fact of trying to explain the problem to someone will give it a name and language, which kick starts how your colleague can help you.
In a mastermind group that I’m part of, people post in our private Facebook with questions along these lines all the time. They’ve hit a sticking point in their business and, as savvy as they are with their businesses, they can’t see where to go next. They’re too close to the issue.
An important side note: This is still your business, so if the guidance from a friend or fellow business owner doesn’t feel right, like deep in your bones it feels like you just stepped into concrete shoes, please don’t follow it. Friends most likely will have the best of intentions for us, but remember they’re not experts in your business, which leads to our next step…
Seek support from the experts.
When you know the direction you want to head, take the leap and hire the expert. Seek out a few referrals, maybe have a few consultations too, but aim to work with someone helps people like you get where you want to go.
My client and I are working to improve her sales funnel to support some VERY LARGE goals she has for 2017. While her current funnel performs well enough, it’s going to take considerable improvements to double her business.
Instead of taking months testing and tweaking on a business area that neither of us are experts in, we’ve brought in someone who is to oversee and guide us through the entire process.
It’s taking financial resources, yes, but now the entire team’s energies are being better used to implement the changes and improving other areas of our marketing plan versus figuring out where to start in the first place. Instead of having a big goal that seems insurmountable, we have a definite plan and a timetable to achieve it.
Turn to your past clients for insights of where to point your ship.
This step is often overlooked. We think that once a client wraps up with us, the relationship ends. There could be a check-in email or two down the road, but keeping up the relationship is easy to skip.
If you’re stuck in business, why not reach out to a few past clients that you know were thoroughly happy with their results. Ask them specific questions about your ideas for the future. They may validate your ideas and encourage you to keep heading down that particular path. Or they could save you loads of time and steer you down another path.
For instance, another client was thinking of offering a video series as a means to engage with her email list. It was going to be a new avenue for her to connect with her audience and she was really excited about it. She had even recorded the first two videos.
After speaking with a few former clients, she discovered that her ideal clients prefer content they can read versus content to watch. Can you imagine if we’d built out the entire video series only to have no one watch it? It wouldn’t have been a total loss, as we could have repurposed the content, but it would have set us back in reaching her annual goals.
Asking for help it isn’t a sign of weakness.
It doesn’t mean you aren’t a capable business owner.
Actually, knowing when you need outside support and then seeking it out is one of the smartest business decisions you could ever make.
How have you used the support of those outside your business to reach your business goals?