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Business Personality: Your Clients and You

Donna Crawley
Posted by Donna Crawley on May 26, 2021 12:09:11 PM

Do you ever walk into a business and feel a certain vibe, a certain energy and it just “feels right”? This is due to just a small part of an important element called business personality. Business personality goes so much deeper than the surface after that first vibe pulse during the first meeting. But what is business personality?

At its most core, business personality is a combination of emotional brand, financial brand and your behaviors related to those. Let's look at how this works in action.

Think about how we all communicate differently with different groups of people. There are different ways of categorizing people based on their core behavioral types, such as relaters, thinkers, socializers and directors. Or, according to the 4 animal personality types, we have otters, lions, retrievers and beavers. Regardless of the words used to describe the groups, the people in those groups fall into similar behavior and communication styles or personalities. When you consider your own personality or communication style, you begin to understand how we connect with others or adjust as we need to along the way.

Some of our individual personality flows through to a business personality, but there is so much more to it than that. Every business you engage with has its own personality.

Think about your own experiences. If you are like me, whenever you are shopping for a new doctor or a new something, you may visit a few different providers. If you take a moment and compare the different doctor’s offices and how it felt when you went into their offices, the one that you love will stand out. You feel a compelling presence when you are there, as if every person that you see is excited to be there. You feel welcomed to be there. The staff does not just sit there and treat you like a robot. The team is visibly engaged, and you can feel all their energy.

Trust me, I have fired doctors or wellness practitioners if I did not feel this vibe, either initially or later. We all want to connect with businesses that identify with your energy and make you feel welcome.

Let's go back to the concept of business shopping. When you walk into a gym, what do you feel when you see staff milling about, talking and not appearing to be doing what they “should” be doing. What do you think when you go to the front desk to see staff looking at their cell phones, reading magazines or talking amongst themselves about their nails or last night’s date? There is no visible care presented to YOU when you walk into their door.

As accountants, advisors, bookkeepers or consultants (or however we define ourselves), these types of insights are very valuable before we engage a new client.

If you visit the location of a potential client, ask yourself these questions which will give you insight into the type of client this will be. Pay attention to your reactions. Negative reactions and low vibe feelings will tell you that this might not be a relationship you want to pursue.

  • Are you made to feel welcome when you enter?
  • How does the team interact with each other?
  • Will you be treated in the same way they treat each other?
  • Is there a collaborative spirit?
  • What type of spirit, vibe and level of energy do you see in the business owner? 

When first meeting with a potential client, whether in person, via an initial zoom meeting or through a phone call, I gauge the potential client’s business personality. Besides asking the standard questions like “How did you find me?” or “What prompted you to call me?”, I like to ask other questions that are more relevant to their business personality.

  • What drives your business?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What makes your team thrive?”

I also like to ask questions that tell me more about their belief systems. Are their belief systems in alignment with yours? How do they handle their employees? How do they handle problems or conflicts? You can ask these questions of the owner or their team. Answers to these questions will give you an initial understanding of whether you are in alignment with each other’s business personalities.

What happens once we choose to engage with a client? We should continue to create and use insights about our client's business personality as we build a relationship with them. Keep in mind that every action a business takes or its team members make displays a piece of their business personality. And once you have engaged the client and started work with them, you should continue to pay attention to these actions.

  • Does the business operate in alignment with the core beliefs of the business owner?
  • Do the team members act in alignment with the core beliefs of the business owner?

Through these observations, we are able to guide conversations that support the client in making appropriate decisions.

What about our own team and prospective employees? How does our business personality and all that we do trickle down to our team and employees? We should also be making these observations and asking these questions about our own practice.

  • How does the embodiment of our beliefs and our business personality benefit your business?
  • Are there pitfalls you need to be aware of?

Know that your business personality is part of your brand. Are we the ones that like to give a birthday off as a holiday as well as greeting clients with chocolates? What are ways that we can show warmth and openness with our clients? I have an incredibly unique personality, but I also feel that others have their own sparkle that we need to discover.

Getting to know our clients is essential in gaining trust and having a solid relationship that is far more than transactional but is impactful and… shall I say… transformational.

Topics: Practice Growth


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