Processes are essential for keeping our businesses running smoothly, but sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a pattern simply because that is the way we have always done it.
One of the best examples of this is how we conduct our executive business reviews. More often than not, we subscribe ourselves to a particular timeframe across our entire customer base – assuming that a quarterly meeting is universally beneficial.
But what if your customers are not ready to receive or act on the information provided? Maybe they are too busy in Q3 to commit to a business review. Maybe their strategic objectives have changed and they need to talk to you sooner. Maybe they just need a quick review or an extended discussion to get back on track.
If you want customers to be receptive, you need to align EBRs to their progress and adapt your process accordingly.
It’s all part of being customer-centric. In parts one and two of our Executive Business Review Series, we discussed why every EBR should be relevant to your customers’ business and provide value based on their specific needs. Below, we will share what you should to keep EBRs laser-focused on the goals at hand.
Be Mindful of Time and Timing to Make an Impact
The third key element of an effective EBR is to be mindful of time and timing. To be relevant and valuable, you need to be laser-focused in meetings so you can cover the information that helps the customer achieve their goals.
For some customers, it might only take 5-10 minutes to achieve this, so schedule a short meeting or finish early. No one is ever upset about gaining time back. If the customer requires more time than you typically allot for an EBR, then spend the time. Your customers will appreciate the extra effort to understand their needs and discuss strategies for their business.
The point is not to conduct a meeting of arbitrary length, but rather to validate current state and determine if anything needs to change.
Likewise, think about the frequency of these meetings and what makes the most sense for your customers. An arbitrary timeframe will not only reinforce negative attitudes towards the meeting but also show that you lack awareness or consideration for their business. Business reviews should always be scheduled based on where your customer is in their journey.
If they need these types of meetings more regularly, then add more to the schedule. On the other hand, you might find that some customers would prefer to skip the meeting during a specific quarter. In that case, move the EBR to another day when the timing is more beneficial. Being mindful is about being considerate and adaptable.
The Bottom Line: Time and Timing Improves Results
From upselling to customer retention, executive business reviews are essential for aligning you with your customers, but always remember that the way you approach your business reviews can make or break a customer relationship.
If you take a vendor-centric approach, you will hinder yourself from building meaningful relationships with your customers. Worse, they may come to think of your meetings as a waste of time and start pulling away from your business.
But when you focus your EBRs on the customer, you can transform burdensome meetings into high-impact discussions that drive results for your business. Your success is directly tied to the success of your customers, so it only makes sense to nurture that bond.
So before you reach out for your next EBR, think about what you bring to that meeting and how the customer will benefit from the conversation. Your customers will thank you for it.