If you aspire to the level of becoming an Indispensable Partner in your client’s success, there is nothing more important to you than understanding what is most important to them. Having even extraordinary technical capabilities that your employer, client or organization needs is insufficient for being recognized, respected and rewarded to delivering the value that you are capable of providing. At the level of technical prowess and expertise, your clients are unable to tell the difference between you and your top five competitors. All of you possess outstanding references and track records, and are likely highly skilled. However, how does someone decide who they’re going to work with when they cannot differentiate between their options on a technical level?

You have already faced this challenge when you chose your professional services providers – your doctor, lawyer, accountant, or even your heating system repair-person. Given that you do not have the technical expertise to validate which doctor, lawyer or accountant knows the most, you do the common sense decision making process: Who do you trust most to deliver what you need, even when you are not clear about what exactly you need? The person you choose to work with is based upon the same decision-making strategy your clients use to hire you versus your competitors: Who do they trust most to help them achieve what is most important to them – even when they don’t know exactly what that is?

The best way to start a relationship is to help the other person get clear about what is really most important to their ultimate success – even when they don’t know what that is or how to get there. Helping the other person come to clarity about what would serve them most is the fastest way to be seen as the one they can trust and work with – even before you have actually done work with them. We choose our highly skilled professional services providers based upon our trust in them being able to help us, not in having seen them work. By creating that clarity that leads to trust that you can help them builds the quality of relationship that makes their trusted partner in success – the very essence of what it is to be an indispensable partner.

It is proven time and time again that you will get no traction whatsoever unless the other person believes you understand what is important to them – even if they don’t know at first.  Helping them get clear about what is most important is the greatest proof that you are the right person to work with. That is the path that opens the door to becoming their partner in success.

You can, without a doubt, be the force for greater clarity, focus and impact on what is most important.

To your success,
Steve Lishansky