It’s impossible to be a Level 4 Value Creator without owning the outcomes that you sell. Your clients expect you to be accountable for results, just like any member of their management team. Here’s how to own outcomes.
Ensure Execution: The invoice you sent your client may note the product, service, or solution that you sold them, but that isn’t what they bought. They bought the outcomes your product, service, or solution was designed to provide them. You can no longer drop your solution off at the door and move on. Owning outcomes means that you help your client execute. It means you ensure that they get the outcomes they bought, even if you have to plead, prod, or push to get your initiative over the line. You own it, and making it works is value creation.
Lead Your Team: Most of the people that execute what you sell don’t report to you. You don’t have any real, formal authority. But that doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to lead your team. You have to ensure that your team executes for your client. This means you may have to ask them to do work in a different way. It may also mean you have to push for what you need. But that is only half of this equation. You also have to go and fight for what your team needs when your client isn’t helping your team to help them. There is nothing easy about this, and it is often complicated and political. But your ability to lead and deliver separates you from the pack as a value creator.
Verify and Adjust: You need to hold regular meetings with your clients to ensure that what you do is still working. You need to verify that they are still getting the necessary results. Before serious dissatisfaction can creep in, you need to make adjustments to what you are doing. When something changes in your client’s world, you are either there to make the changes and help them or your competitor surely will be.
Accountable to the Organization: Being accountable for the results you sell is one thing, but it is another thing to be accountable to your client and their organization. What you sell them may work for them, but being accountable to your client and their company as a trusted advisor, Level 4 Value Creator requires that you also be accountable for future results. You can’t rest on your laurels. You have to go back and visit proactive, then execute, and then proactively come up with what’s next. The more you believe and behave as if it your job to help your client succeed, the greater value you create, and the more valuable you become.
Who is responsible for ensuring your client can execute what you sell and achieve the outcomes you sold?
How do you lead your team when you have no formal authority? How do you lead your client’s team?
How often do you verify that what you are doing works? How often do you make adjustments?
What is your responsibility to your clients, their organization, and their future results?