The best way to ensure your own success is to ensure your customer’s success.
1. Figure out who your customers are.
Don’t take for granted that you know who your customer is. Especially if you work inside a large organization. What individuals and organizations do you serve? Get out a piece of paper and write down the various customers you are aware of. Write down individual names. If you don’t know, ask. Your customers are who you ultimately serve, you can’t make them successful if you don’t know who they are.
5. Put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers.
What do you think they feel like working with you? What do you think keeps them up at night? What do you think is certain in their mind? What do you think is uncertain in their mind? What do you think they would like you to do for them?
If you want to make someone else successful, you have to become aware of the fact that their perspective may not match your own. In fact it shouldn’t if they really rely upon your expertise.
2. Call three of your customers.
Pick up the phone and talk with three of your customers. Set aside a half an hour. Talk about whatever comes to mind. Listen to what they have to say.
3. Meet one of your customers face to face.
Pick one of your customers and meet with them in-person. Schedule the appointment now. Have a conversation, any conversation. Establishing a relationship and trust are pre-requisites to making them successful. You can’t help someone if they won’t let you.
4. Learn about your customer’s customer.
You don’t need to learn their business, you need to learn about the people the serve. Learn how they help their customers. You might be surprised what comes to mind about how you could contribute. Perspective about your customer’s customer gives you the ability to work cohesively.
6. Stop doing one thing that you shouldn’t be doing.
Write down three things you do for your customers now. Do any of these seem unnecessary? Do they all really help your customer? Or, is there part of one of them that isn’t as helpful? Find something that you do now, that doesn’t really help, and stop doing it. We all do things that are unnecessary, it’s only a flaw if we don’t seek what’s necessary and eliminate everything else.
7. Do one of the things you could be doing.
Write down three things you could be doing. You just had conversations with some customers. What comes to mind? Surely you can find three things that you could help with. Pick one of them and do it. Focus on maximizing your customer’s success.
8. Do something amazing for one of your customers.
It can be something as small as being responsive when they email or call you. You could send a thank you card and gift, thanking them for helping your organization be successful. You could ask if they have questions. You could answer a question. Go above and beyond to do something helpful and pleasant. Something that will be unexpected and remembered. Something you’d like to see yourself doing more often in the future.