“In IT it’s either black or white, there’s no plaid. Hilary provided workshops about relationships, understanding how do I put myself in second place to be able to listen to you and understand what your needs are, so I can hopefully negotiate better, manage that relationship better, and take that relationship to the next level. It’s not intuitive for us, especially being engineers. It was kind of shocking to me, but I think that most of the people in the class, on the team, didn’t think they could negotiate. So I think that they now understand the potential and the importance for diplomacy. What Hilary said first when she came and started the workshop was huge. As she came into the workshop session, everyone was trying to figure out what customer relationship management was–is it the “flavor of the month?” Hilary walked in the meeting and set the stage by saying, ‘Did you know that 85% of the relationship you have from a technical standpoint that you have with your customer has nothing to do with technology? But it has everything to do with your personal relationship skills.’ That just stopped everyone right in their tracks. It gave us the focus that we needed. Something that we didn’t have before. That was just huge. The other thing that Hilary said was her term of ‘raising the level of consciousness. What this means is that proactively, we now ask ourselves, ‘What can we do to move this relationship forward?’ This is a whole new twist for us. Now when we are on the phone with that person working through a particular situation, in the back of our minds now instead of thinking how do I fix this technical thing, they are thinking, ‘How do I talk them down from the ledge? How do I diffuse the situation? How do I control this? This ‘raising the level of consciousness is something that went on like a light. In terms of a specific example of how effective the workshop has been for my team I’ll share a situation with one of our best customers from an IT standpoint. We support a manufacturing company outside of Clark. Their service was down. We were in a horrible situation. The guy from my team that I had to deal with was scared because he knew the potential for losing this relationship completely. So what he did before he took any action was to think about Hilary’s workshop and he actually went through the four C’s. So on his ride to see the customer, he formulated his plan, using the four C’s and planning how he was going to try and save this relationship. He felt ecstatic because when he met head on with the irate client, he used Hilary’s workshop and instead of a “you’re out of here”, thirty minutes later he walked out of there with more business, which is really fantastic.”

Dave Golden, Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Clark Construction

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