I’m involved in a group that regularly discusses collaboration. The discussion ranges from what collaboration is, how you get it and what keeps it from happening in the first place.
My belief is that collaboration only happens when the client wants it to happen. In our firm we believe that the client is in charge of the relationship and the first person we want to collaborate with is the client.
Start with understanding and treating the client as the expert. We have three questions we need answered as we go through a planning process with our customers.
Those three questions are:
- What is the issue we want to deal with?
- Why do we want to deal with this particular issue?
- How are we going to get a result that the client wants?
The first two questions must come from the client. The last is where we can help by either using our expertise or recommending others be brought in to help produce the wanted outcome.
Collaboration happens in answering what and why. Working with clients to establish what and why in solving a particular problem is always a collaborative effort. A client will start with what they want to accomplish. We help by asking good questions that clarifies what we’re we to accomplish.
Why is where client collaboration really begins. We want to make sure that we understand why a particular outcome is important. When we assume we know what the client wants, we have a very high chance of being wrong. When we ask, we get more clarity about what’s important.
How is where the client gets to decide how much collaboration is important. Collaboration is expensive. When we start bringing in other advisors there are many questions for the client. Some of them are:
- Why do we need someone else to help?
- What are they actually going to bring to the party?
- Do I use someone I know or use someone Josh suggests?
- How much is this going to cost?
- How do I know using others will actually get me the outcome I want?
Many times the decisions about collaboration is helping the client gain clarity about who is the best person to use and how much it will cost. If we’ve done our job well, we’ve already figured out what the value of doing a particular activity is. Once we know whom we’re going to work with and what they charge, the decision becomes easy whether we want to go forward.
Do you ever think about the concept of collaboration with others? If so, what do you think is important? If you have any thoughts on this, please contact me at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com or click here to set a time for us to talk.
We often find collaboration is most important when a Sudden Money® event is about to or is happening. I encourage you click on the button below and download your decision free zone workbook. I’m sure you’ll find the time invested worthwhile.
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