Category Archives: Client Relations

Build Long-Term Relationships by Letting Yourself Get Naked

In Patrick Lencioni’s latest title, Getting Naked (Jossey-Bass, 2010), he shows readers how to transform client relationships by taking the “naked” approach. This method takes any business to a new level of authenticity by helping to develop lasting, long-term client relationships. He works past typical advice, such as creating PowerPoint presentations and presenting ROI data, to reach a more meaningful aspect of client relations. If you are in the business of building relationships, then this book is an invaluable asset. Here are the basic tenets of Getting Naked:

  1. Rather than sell ourselves, always provide immediate value to those we serve
  2. Give ourselves (the business) away without holding back for something else first (fees)
  3. Tell the “kind” truth and don’t sugar-coat the obvious
  4. Enter the danger (our zone of discomfort) rather than avoid it
  5. Ask the dumb (the right) question that no one else ever asks
  6. Make unusual (even if impractical) suggestions that stimulate thinking rather than suggesting the obvious
  7. Celebrate our mistakes and our failures, as these are key lessons learned for growth
  8. Take a bullet for a friend (our client), as taking responsibility and sacrificing are the greatest things we can do for another
  9. Make everything about the client; focus on the “other”
  10. Honor the “other’s” work
  11. Roll up our sleeves and do the dirty work
  12. Admit we are human and have our own weaknesses and limitations

Patrick Lencioni, author of Getting Naked

Lencioni’s message is wrapped in an engaging story of two firms, very different from one another, that are trying to find a common language and build trust as they merge into one organization. This engaging and humorous story is worth reading in itself, but the lessons imparted make it even more difficult to put down.

In Lencioni’s words,

“Naked service boils down to the ability of a service provider to be vulnerable – to embrace uncommon levels of humility, selflessness, and transparency for the good of a client.”

Pick up this book and learn how most service providers are susceptible to the three fears that sabotage client loyalty – fear of losing business, fear of being embarrassed, and fear of feeling inferior. More importantly, learn to embrace the honesty and authenticity that results from letting go.

Looking for more resources on company culture and building relationships?  Try the Values Edge System, from HRDQ.  Discover your values, the values of your organization, and explore both to establish a common organizational language. The Values Edge System is an excellent catalyst for gaining personal insight, coaching individuals, sparking employee engagement, improving teamwork, and aligning culture.