Naked Consulting – A Model that Fits House of Brick
Nathan Biggs, CEO
I just finished reading Patrick Lencioni’s newest book Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty for the third time since its publication. I have long been a fan of Lencioni’s business writings. His approach to conveying business principles in the form of parables is a powerful medium for me. As someone who has a hard time processing large amounts of detailed information, I appreciate the imagery that allows me to retain the teachings, and apply them in my personal and business life.
The three fears identified by Lencioni include:
Fear of Losing the Business—Sometimes consultants are so worried about losing a sales opportunity that they worry too much about selling, and less about solving problems. When you worry about selling instead of listening to their problems and helping to find solutions, what you are communicating to the customer is that this is about you instead of about them. Whether it would be approved by the sales gurus or not, our sales approach at House of Brick tends to be one of sharing information in an effort to help the customer—even before signing a contract for services. I have seen time and time again, that this engenders trust, and shows our customers that we really do have their best interests as our goal.
Fear of Being Embarrassed—Too often, a consultant (in whatever industry) will try to come in and convey how wonderful they are. They will be afraid to ask dumb questions, or make silly suggestions, fearing that the customer will somehow see them as not qualified. Again, this has the effect of communicating to the customer that they are more worried about themselves rather than the customer’s needs. I have found that our customers would rather have us “shoot straight” with them. We do not claim to be perfect at House of Brick. Our customers appreciate when we make mistakes and then quickly own up to them.
Fear of Feeling Inferior—Do you get the feeling that all of these fears center around being self-focused instead of customer-focused? Dave Welch, our CTO and Chief Evangelist likes to convey our willingness to serve our customers by saying “we will sweep their floors if that is what they need.” Doing whatever is needed is a way of showing our clients that we are on the same team.
When I joined House of Brick two years ago, the thing that impressed me most, was the incredible loyalty that our customers and partners demonstrated toward us, and the humble attitude that we took toward our customers. Now, I will not say that everything is always smooth and easy. We have our difficult situations, just like everyone else. I am convinced, however, that if we continue to make our focus about meeting our customers’ needs, that we will be more satisfied in our work, our customers will be more happy, and we will ultimately be more successful in all aspects of our business.
Thanks for being a friend of House of Brick.