Client-Centeredness: The Value Series
Welcome to the first official post of The Value Series! Whereas all the values are equally important and carry the same weight, I do say that I am very excited to kick off the series with Client-Centeredness!
First things first, aren't all businesses client-centered?
As much as I want the answer to be yes, we all know that is rarely true. When I think of a client-centered business, I think of one that meets my unique needs, meets my neighbor's unique needs, meets the mailman's unique needs, etc. (You get the idea.) And it goes beyond needs.
How we demonstrate client-centeredness is through ensuring they receive our products and services consistently. We view our processes and work from the clients’ perspectives, knowing that each client may have different needs, styles and desires.
Yes, we absolutely meet our deadlines and deliver our services consistently. That's a huge part of being client-centered. However, I want to expand on the second part of client-centeredness: adaptability. One of the many ways we demonstrate client-centeredness is through adapting our work style to best serve a particular client.
As an example, when a client first comes to Sharpshooter we create The Vault, which is a database of all the information we could possibly need from financial statements to verbiage that the client loves to addresses of all their sites and everything in between. Now how The Vault gets populated is entirely up to whatever will work best for the client. We have folks who populate it entirely themselves, upload all the attachments and send any questions our way because that's how they like to work. We have clients where we have happily gone to their offices for an entire week, dug through their files, and manually scanned and uploaded everything into the Vault. We've done this for clients who may have recently lost their Development Director, are new to their position or are so focused on saving the world that we take this one task off their loaded plates.
I have many, many more examples.
Grant-seeking is a one size fits one practice. Why wouldn't working with a grant writer also be one size fits one?
For some businesses adopting a model that is unique (and oftentimes vastly different) from client to client is outside the realm of possibility. It takes more time. It takes much more communication. It takes a lot of things a business that is focused on making the most amount of money possible doesn't want to give.
That's not our focus.
Our focus is on serving you in the best ways you need and want.
I like to sit back and think about our current clients, and how I can't think of a single one who works with us in the same way. Yes, we write and manage grants for all of them. However, one client prefers that we text them when it's time to review applications. One client prefers to walk over to our offices and pop in (pre-COVID) with a question because their organization is quite literally across the street. One client prefers us to use an extensive grant review form that their CEO signs off on. One client sends a simple "let it fly!" to let us know that a grant is ready to go. Another client prefers to call me on the phone and go through applications together rather than editing on the Google Doc alone.
And we happily and eagerly adapt to each and every one of them.