Amongst the definitions you stumble across when researching the word “engage” are the following nuggets of gold;
- involve someone in.
- participate or become involved in.
- establish a meaningful contact or connection with.
Part of this powerful words history resides in the amalgamation of the French word “engager” and middle English word “ingage”. Mostly used in the 17th century when referring to “entering into combat”, leading to the notion that it was a word the included involving someone or something else. If you have ever read Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”, or simply been in the business world for longer than a week, you will draw the correlation between tactics of war, and business tactics, strategy, and much more. Business can be a battle, and its important that you have the right support structures around you that enable you to engage to your fullest capacity. Running into battle without the right tools and equipment is senseless, much the same, running into business without planning, preparation, strategy and tools is a sure-fire way to be found running with your tail between your legs.
This is why the act of engaging with our clients and customers, truly, and authentically, is essential to the core of our business. For us, and for you and your business, it should be paramount to engage with your clients at a truly meaningful level. In our industry, this looks like listening more than speaking, understanding, and prompting the right thought patterns in our clients, to enable them to grow and enhance their systems and processes, and to allow us to successfully deliver an effective, and efficient solution. Establishing a meaningful connection with our clients, is what has brought us thus far, and has helped improve and drive success for them.
If you are standing today, wondering where you go next with that tough customer, or that botched sales lead, or that next deal that is slipping out of your grasp, simply engage, and understand. Become involved in their struggles, understand their pain, make it yours, and take action. If you know for sure you can resolve their struggle, tell them how, and take them on that journey. If you don’t, do yourself a favour and point them in the right direction, and walk away. Engaging with your clients, or potential new clients, looks like trust, honesty and the commitment to doing the right thing for them. Making their pain yours places you in the right mindset to deliver the solution they need. It also means you are placed to advise them on where they need to go, or be, to enable them to resolve the pain that they have.
I can’t stress more about the impact that this attitude has on our business, and the culture within 3EN. For us, it has always been a core value, and something that we have always held onto tightly. I would encourage you to do the same today. Truly engage with your clients, don’t try and sell yourself, or your product, understand first and foremost, take the pain, and help them discover the relief they need. Sometimes, this looks like us pointing a potential client in a direction that doesn’t include us, but this is by far one of the most important core values you can have when working with people, no matter what the situation. Truly, honestly, and openly engage with the individual in front of you. Nothing more, nothing less!