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Professionalism: Has technology changed what clients expect?

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Research with clients and suppliers worldwide shows what you should do when dealing with clients to make sure you don\'t offend.

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Professionalism: Has technology changed what clients expect?

  1. 1. Professionalism:Has technology changed what clients expect? What You Need to Know to Build Business Success! Presented by Diane M. Harris D. M. Harris Associates
  2. 2. Our time together How this topic arose You’ll take the short survey Explain the research conducted Findings of research conducted with clients & suppliers; data and qualitative Tips to improve how clients view you as a professionalJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 2
  3. 3. Professionalism Professionalism Committee’s annual presentation Change it up and get more practical My personal observation over my career  We’ve gotten more casual  Was it because of the speed of business?  The Internet?  Or just what?June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 3
  4. 4. Let’s see what you think Let’s do the survey!
  5. 5. About the research Did Qualitative prior to Quantitative Sources of respondents – not random  My clients, QRCA friends and their clients  LinkedIn – nine different groups Responses from around the world  Asia, Romania, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, South Africa and CanadaJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 5
  6. 6. About the survey 244 responses  59 clients and research buyers (55 actual qualitative research buyers)  185 research suppliers 45 pages of comments! Many e-mailed or left appreciative comments Hypothesized younger would react differently  I was wrongJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 6
  7. 7. How much has the face of professionalism changed throughout your career? Jack WelchJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 7
  8. 8. Supplier Viewpoint 13.5% 44.9% 26.5% 10.8% 4.3%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 8
  9. 9. Client viewpoint 11.9% 52.5% 20.3% 8.5% 6.8%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 9
  10. 10. Comments It seems like time & money is an excuse to forget professionalism People are more casual now, which isn’t always good Expectations of instant response have led to communication without critical thinking “Formalism” has changed, but not professionalismJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 10
  11. 11. This was my hypothesisthat the Internet was the cause So this was a key question
  12. 12. With the inception of the Internet, has the increased informality in communication been a help or a hindrance to professionalism in our work society?June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 12
  13. 13. I blame Jerry SpringerJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 13
  14. 14. He gave the green light for bad behavior to be acceptableJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 14
  15. 15. Supplier Viewpoint 49.7% 50.3%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 15
  16. 16. Client viewpoint 39% 61%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 16
  17. 17. Comments I appreciate the more efficient information transfer . . . More details come faster When done properly, the informality invites engagement, but the lack of discipline has hindered quality of thinking and quality of communication It can tend to not be respectful of another’s time/schedule, is interruptive and undermines professional presentation.June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 17
  18. 18. If you receive writtencorrespondence from a supplier thathas typos, text/Internet abbreviationsor incomplete sentences, does thataffect your decisionto do businesswith them?June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 18
  19. 19. Supplier Viewpoint 89.2% 10.8%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 19
  20. 20. Client viewpoint 89.8% 10.2%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 20
  21. 21. Comments Demonstrates sloppiness, a lack of thoroughness and commitment If I KNOW them, I can forgive some typing errors. If I DON’T know them, typos can cast a bad impression Mrs. Roland is still whispering in my ear that “your writing is a reflection of your competence.” I believe it!June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 21
  22. 22. Tips for You Type e-mail like a business letter Keep it short and simple Don’t just use spell check; proofread it Don’t send an e-mail when angry Don’t send anything confidential via e-mailJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 22
  23. 23. When having a face-to-faceconversation with a businessassociate or supplier and theytake a cell phone call that isnot an emergency or textduring your conversation,does this affect yourimpression of theirprofessionalism ina negative way?June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 23
  24. 24. Supplier Viewpoint 96.8% 3.2%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 24
  25. 25. Client viewpoint 96.6% 3.4%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 25
  26. 26. Comments That would be the last conversation I had with them When you are in the meeting, you are IN the meeting It tells me they don’t have good manners and I’m not important to them I’ll ask the person to leave the meeting Non-urgent calls are unforgivable, but it’s important to be flexible and allow urgent callsJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 26
  27. 27. Tips for You Be ALL there Keep it private Learn to vibe Alert them if expecting an urgent call; excuse yourselfJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 27
  28. 28. If the following business actions occurred,would it affect your decision to dobusiness again with a supplier? Deliverables and deadlines were not on time Costs were +10% higher than bid Quality of deliverables did not meet your expectationsJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 28
  29. 29. Supplier Viewpoint 2.2% 21.4% 3.2% 97.8% 78.6% 96.8% Deliverables Costs QualityJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 29
  30. 30. Client viewpoint 8.5% 23.7% 91.5% 76.3% 100% Deliverables Costs QualityJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 30
  31. 31. Comments If a study runs long, the recruit more difficult, etc. first check then add 10% is okay, but deadlines and especially work quality is not negotiable. Sometimes higher costs are justified by client actions Higher costs I can live with as long as I’m informed while the study is going on and given optionsJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 31
  32. 32. Tips for You Keep your word; Integrity, integrity, integrity No surprises, inform client of changes before the fact Return phone calls and e-mails promptly Take ownership and responsibility for your work You don’t know if your client will be the forgiving type, so strive for 100% on time, on budget.June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 32
  33. 33. How important is the appropriateness of a supplier’s clothing attire and grooming in your decision-making about what supplier to use?June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 33
  34. 34. Supplier Viewpoint 28.1% 57.3% 14.1% 0.5%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 34
  35. 35. Client viewpoint 18.6% 52.5% 25.4% 3.4%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 35
  36. 36. Comments Don’t smell bad or have dirty fingernails First impressions mean something. They don’t need to come in a suit and tie but they need to look neat and know what they are talking about. I consider it very demeaning if the supplier is not appropriately dressed “executional distractions” are not helpful, if all else is equal, then certainly the one with fewer wardrobe malfunctions would get the business.June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 36
  37. 37. Tips for You You are a brand; anchor yourself in a stable image Business casual; think business first, casual second Dress for the job you want Err on the side of formality Mirror or better the client’s dress code Invest in quality not quantity; shoes, pens, briefcase, handbag Showing up unshaven, wet hair etc. signals unorganized, lazy or lack of respectJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 37
  38. 38. If you travel by air and the supplier upgrades to first class because theyhave a premier frequent flier status and you sit in coach, does that affect your impression negatively of them? June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 38
  39. 39. Supplier Viewpoint 68.1% 31.9%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 39
  40. 40. Client viewpoint 27.1% 72.9%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 40
  41. 41. Comments It shouldn’t matter but it does It would be nice to have the time to discuss business, but I wouldn’t begrudge them the upgrade I would love it if they would offer me their seat or to switch halfway; nice and professional gesture Personal manners count Good for them!June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 41
  42. 42. Tips for You Think of the relationship first You don’t know which viewpoint your client might have Err on the side of generosity (who is paying the bill) Use your judgmentJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 42
  43. 43. How important is a person’s etiquette in your decision-making about what supplier to use?June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 43
  44. 44. Supplier Viewpoint 50.3% 45.9 3.8%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 44
  45. 45. Client viewpoint 39.0% 57.6% 3.4%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 45
  46. 46. Comments You have to sell yourself! You are the product you are selling. I will not do business with a slob no matter how good the person is It’s very important that a vendor know how to conduct or participate in a meeting, e.g. weirdness is a death-knell Similarly to clothing, if it were really bad, it would make me wonder about themJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 46
  47. 47. Tips for You Dining & Entertaining  Go with what you know  Choose table in advance  Settle the bill early  Talk business later  Don’t order food that’s hard to chew or cut  Don’t overindulge in food or drink  The guest orders first  All guests should be served before eatingJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 47
  48. 48. Formal Dinner Place Setting 1. Napkin 6. Dinner Plate 11. Butter Knife 2. Fish Fork 7. Dinner Knife 12. Desert silverware 3. Main Course Fork 8. Fish Knife 13. Water Glass 4. Salad Fork* 9. Soup Spoon 14. Red Wine Glass 5. Soup Bowl and 10. Bread and Butter 15. White Wine Glass Plate PlateJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 48
  49. 49. Tips for You Proper etiquette  Ask open-ended questions  Don’t start sentences with “I” continuously  Send a thank you note, hand-written  Don’t interrupt  Profanity=less about the language and more about caring about others  Ask, “May I give you my card?”June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 49
  50. 50. Client Respondent Information 93.2% 6.8%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 50
  51. 51. Supplier’s work experience 1.1% 8.6% 8.1% 82.2%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 51
  52. 52. Client’s work experience 5.1% 10.2% 18.6% 66.1%June 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 52
  53. 53. Let’s be PROS Put others first Relationships are the key to success On your honor, on time and on budget Show respect for yourself, it instantly shows respect for othersJune 5, 2012 D. M. Harris Associates 53
  54. 54. Thank you! Diane M. Harris D. M. Harris Associatesdmharris@zoomInternet.net

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