It has been quite the quarter and one that we will not forget in a hurry, but we have managed to keep focused throughout this tricky time and have certainly learnt a lot! Here’s what: –
Stay humble and appreciative
Like many small-medium sized organisations out there, we have a core number of clients we can rely on needing consultancy projects over the quieter periods and months. However, through these austere times, it has most definitely brought home the message that we appreciate all the opportunities that we are presented with, be it a fully resourced long term project or a simple half day’s training course. We treat every opportunity with the same level of diligence and respect.
It is difficult for us to sell and win opportunities off the cuff because we are a consultancy company whose approach is geared towards developing a shared vision with our clients, of their use of data analytics, so achieving success over a prolonged period of time.
Unlike a retail store where you simply purchase an item and walk away, what we are trying to build and achieve here is a relationship and an assurance that a client can call on us at any time. So, for example, if a key person in their analytics function leaves and takes the knowledge with them or maybe if they require support on a specific project. we are always there for them. This is where we aim to bring value!
Patience and calm
Over the last few months, we have won and lost opportunities, have had consultancy projects that have been placed on ice, pending budget re-approval and have had to completely redevelop our training programmes so we can deliver them via a remote platform. It is testament to our persistence and standards of work that the vast majority of our clients have re-approved and re-scheduled the work for which we thank them.
Undoubtedly, it’s been a time where we have had to learn to be patient and remain calm, because, during a period of consideration, there is always that element of uncertainty the client may not want to progress a training/consultancy project any further or may not have the budget to take it forward any more, so it is our mentality to never take things for granted and to work even harder to achieve our objectives.
Take some risks
The lockdown period has presented many challenges, but also opportunities for us to take stock of and consider alternative ways of working.
One of the alternative ways came about as a result of being asked to deliver a training programme to people based overseas, in completely different time zones. With no travel possible, the only way we could deliver was to invest in a remote/virtual platform. A difficult decision, given that we had only limited time to plan and this training would be the first real test of the value of the product. We had to ask ourselves the question, do we purchase, at not an insignificant cost, and deliver the training or risk losing this and, potentially, other opportunities through lack of a virtual platform?
In the end we decided to purchase Adobe Connect and delivered a hugely successful training programme to the client, so it was a very worthwhile investment overall and one which will present a great alternative option for us to deliver our training moving forwards!
And above all…stay connected!
From the outset, it was important for the team to stay connected and supportive of each other’s situations, so we quickly put in place a time to have a daily call along with a plan for each member to deliver a quiz, every Friday, to keep morale up (for the winners at least!)
In a strange kind of way, having to work remotely has actually improved communications, as it is paramount everyone knows who is working on what and when and who has availability to pick up additional work.
Likewise, with our clients, we have tried to keep in contact over the last few months with as many clients as we can, whether it be by e-mail, telephone call, through our newsletter or via our recent webinar, in some cases even just to say “Hello”, as we just think it’s incredibly important to understand and appreciate that everyone’s situation is different and it is always great just to be able to share a few thoughts and ideas on how others are surviving during these most crazy times!