07/05/2015

By Nicky Milligan, Managing Director at mcm creative group


People do business with people. Buyers or decision makers of products and services, whether they are consumers or purchasing agents, prefer to work with someone they know and trust.

Building the right team for your client is critical to the success of the project in particular and the client experience overall. Getting it right will lead to retention and subsequent growth from that client account.

Your ability to help clients make an impact will be driven by the emphasis you place on building long term, trusted relationships with them. By spending time to get to know clients’ business inside out you can support them through their biggest challenges.

People want to work with the best. This is why it’s imperative the people representing your company are experts in their subject matter, developing the reputation and trust that places them top of mind with buyers/decision makers. In order to be top of mind should to be considered the best in the business.

That’s where recognition as a subject matter expert, or SME, comes in. A subject matter expert is an authority in a particular field. Recognition as an expert is achieved through a combination of education, experience, and knowledge.

Is someone truly a subject matter expert if no one recognizes them as such? I say no. Becoming an SME requires a strategy to create a personal brand that results in expert status.

It's worth focusing on recruiting seasoned experts of this type, those who are well respected by their peers in the industry, and even more importantly trusted by clients. Striving to add measurable value to your clients is vital, and in order to do it you must have a team of the right experts in place.

It's increasingly common these days to have a wide variety of services and skills under one roof, enabling agencies to deliver exceptional customer service and inspirational experiences that are right the first time. But it's important to regularly review your approach and expand your expertise in your sector if you're going to remain one step ahead of the competition.

It's also worth considering the wider benefits in play. Knowing and offering solutions is key for clients, but there are other benefits to be gained from experts internally. They bring experience of understanding work pressures, work cultures and work ethics. Their years of achievements, failures and trained commercial judgement will prove invaluable.

Handling a crisis comes from valuable life lessons and can be an important skill in particular roles. A lesser experienced professional might buckle under the pressure and allow fear to control their decision-making.

Experienced employees are more stable and tend to want to remain in their positions or with a company for longer periods of time. This may suit their family situations and play into their desire to reach a leadership position within the company. In this case, these employees save companies money by stabilising turnover rates.

Employees are the backbone of every organisation. They are the machine which bring to life every plan and the force which helps a business climb the ladder of success. Recognising the expertise and ability of employees injects serious value, in addition to their own productivity and creativity. These experts have a better understanding and grasp of a client’s brands, objectives & challenges, resulting in solutions to meet their briefs and exceed their expectations. Well worth focusing on.