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Are people different? Of course they are! So how do you approach your clients and promoters based on what THEIR strength is?

The 8th of an 8-part series exploring how to be a People Catalyst.  In the series we focus on “ME”, your individual core nature; “WE”, two people with different strengths interacting; “US”, a team working together; and “ALL”, how to work as an entire organization.

This episode focuses on Clients and Promoters, who you can consider an extended part of your team.

Listen to the podcast here:


Karla Nelson:  And welcome to The People Catalyst podcast. My co-host, Allen Fahden.

Allen Fahden:  Hello, Karla. It’s a beautiful day.

Karla Nelson:  Hello. Where are you this day, by the way?

Allen Fahden:  I’m in Cooperstown, New York.

Karla Nelson:  Ooh New York, fantastic. I thought you were-

Allen Fahden:  Victorian houses and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Karla Nelson:  Fantastic. I know we’ve been running in different circles and different places around the country recently, and we’ll see each other in Vegas here real quickly, my friend.

Allen Fahden:  Yep.

Karla Nelson:  We are on our eighth part of an eight part series, so here we are wrapping it up, of the Me, We, Us All, and today we are going to capture them. So, me, in the first part being what is your core nature. We, being what does it look like when you put two core natures together in regards to work. Us, how do you work together as a team trying to effectively implement something. All, how does this look as an entire organization. And today we are going to talk about them. So, you ready to go?

Allen Fahden:  Them.

Karla Nelson:  Them.

Allen Fahden:  Yes, I am.

Karla Nelson:  Well, this is so cool-

Allen Fahden:  It’s a 1950s horror movie.

Karla Nelson:  Some people don’t think about them, right? To be quite honest with you, a lot of times the only focus is on the client, right? We forget that we have to start with the team, move to the client, and then the promoter. So, we discussed the team, and then today we are going to shove probably something that could be another eight part series all in its own right.

Allen Fahden:  That’s right.

Karla Nelson:  But we want to definitely not abandon the fact that after you have this focus with your team and you understand the parts of the work and how people work differently, that you move that to the next stage, which is your clients. So you start with the team and then move to the client. Now, here’s the thing about clients. It’s the same as the team. People are different.

Allen Fahden:  Exactly.

Karla Nelson:  So, you have to respond-

Allen Fahden:  Different, and it matters.

Karla Nelson:  It matters.

Allen Fahden:  It matters how you work with them.

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. So what we’re going to do today is go through if you were to approach a client and each of the four core natures, how would you approach that work differently? We’re assuming you can do it on two sides. One is actually the selling aspect, but we’re going to get to the point where they’ve already said yes, and now it’s time to implement the work, because the selling aspect and saying yes is a whole other podcast.

Allen Fahden:  And there’s a really important thing here too because people think once they’ve sold it, they’re home free. Well, they’re not. If they can’t implement what you’re proposing to them in their own organization, if they can’t do it, guess whose fault it is? It’s not their fault. It’s your fault. You brought them this thing that didn’t work.

Karla Nelson:  It’s always your fault as the organization. Yes, we’ll take you on as a client.

Allen Fahden:  What kind of justice is this?

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, what I will do is, just like the format of the previous seven podcasts, is interview Allen, and then he will answer in regards to if whatever their core nature is, and if they are a client or if they are a promoter, and how you can respond, and then some stories that we’ve encountered over the years in that regard. Awesome. Ready to go?

Allen Fahden:  Yep.

Karla Nelson:  Here we go. All right. Allen, how do you approach the work of implementing a strategy if the client, or delivering on goods if the client is a shaker?

Allen Fahden:  So, this is way trickier than it looks. I’m going to share a quick thing with you. This actually happened with a client, and it wasn’t going well at all. The client was about ready to fire us, and I thought that the client was a prover because the client just kept pushing back on everything, didn’t like anything we were doing, and what we would do is present everything. We do all the detail work. We’d make sure everything was perfect and present a couple alternatives, but everything was pretty well finished, and it wasn’t working. So, we found out that the client really wasn’t a prover. The client was a shaker.

So, first of all, the client said, “Look, the only reason I’m pushing back is you’re not giving me anything I can use, but even worse, you’re not letting me play.” I had this terrible terrible job. The only fun part of the job is the work that I’m doing with you, but you won’t even let me do any of it. You’re doing it all and bringing it to me finished. You’ve got to bring it to me at a more crude stage, unfinished stage, and let me input my ideas. Let me imprint it with my own ideas. Otherwise, I’m just not going to continue with you people. You’re making my life miserable and you’re not giving me what I want.

Karla Nelson:  Yep, people support what they build.

Allen Fahden:  So, let them play.

Karla Nelson:  And I think that’s across the board, but especially the shaker, especially the shaker. They want some part of the idea in their thumbprint for sure on the work.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, let them play. Let them play. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You can always give a good reason their idea won’t work, then work it out together. There may be some twist on it that does work and that may be better than what you brought anyway. Then you’ve got, as you say, people implement what they build. Now you’ve got a good chance of making it happen in their organization, and that’s what makes you successful. So, you know, it ain’t over until it’s over, as Yogi Berra used to say. It’s not innovation until it gets out the door.

Karla Nelson:  You got it. So, let the shakers have their ideas be a part of the answer or solution to whatever it is that you’re-

Allen Fahden:  Invite them to play and bring them work that’s not as finished as you would ordinarily do it. You always finish stuff because you think nobody has any imagination. Well, guess what? Shakers have a ton of imagination. So, let them play, but be vigilant and make sure they don’t imagine it the wrong way.

Karla Nelson:  Awesome. And of course, we can’t forget the next piece. How do you approach the work if the client is a mover?

Allen Fahden:  So, if the client is a mover, you are lucky because that mover already has the instinct to get it done in their own organization. So, you just keep asking them what’s important to them, what are their priorities, what do they need, and keep giving it to them. That’s pretty much all you have to do. They’ll do the rest.

Karla Nelson:  And as a, in the first question, if you have a shaker, either you need a mover in that organization or a mover in your organization, right?

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, if you don’t have one, you’ve got to find one.

Karla Nelson:  What is that, Toy Story, when it says, “If you need a moving buddy, if you don’t have one, find one,” or get one.

Allen Fahden:  Find one, yeah right.

Karla Nelson:  If you need a moving buddy, you’ve got to have the mover in all of these instances.

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely.

Karla Nelson:  And it could be both sides, and I think that’s the interesting thing is we think that we’re just supposed to be order takers, from those that we say yes to and that are working with … and our clients, right? But at the end of the day, we can still create this team synergistically, and it doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on. It just matters that you understand what part of the work that everyone is brewing it at.

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely. People can refer back to our other podcasts to get a lot more detail on who does what parts of the work and in what order.

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. So if they’re a mover, I love asking the questions. Remember, it doesn’t matter if they’re a shaker, prover, or maker, you need to have a mover in your point guard on any sale.

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely.

Karla Nelson:  Allen, how do you approach the work if your client is a prover?

Allen Fahden:  So, that’s a little bit more challenging, but at least it’s out in the open. The prover’s going to push back on whatever you do. So one of the things you want to do is beat them to it and ask them when you show them your plan. Say, “Hey critique this. Tell me everything that can go wrong, and then let’s work out a protection plan to make sure that these things don’t happen.” So now you’ve invited them to play and they feel confident. They say, “I love that somebody’s asking me to critique their work. Oh boy.” Kind of rubbing their hands together and maybe going, “Mwa ha ha.” So yeah, they love that.

Again, make sure you have a mover on the business, but one of the things you can do then is ask them if their … Find out what specifically … By the way, when you work with a prover, they’ve got to be specific. Ask them to be specific. You can’t deal with some general vague thing. “I just don’t like it. I’ll know when I see it.” No, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. Say, “Be specific. Tell me everything that can go wrong, otherwise we’ll never move ahead. We can’t fix anything if we aren’t specific about it.”

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, and that’s a part of the process, right? You say, “Be specific. What is the challenge?” And then what do you do? You go right back over to your shaker to come up with ideas to overcome-

Allen Fahden:  To overcome the objections.

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. Exactly. Awesome. So remember, be specific is a key word for a prover. Otherwise, a lot of times their instinct just says it’s not going to work. Then Allen, how do you approach the work if your client is a maker?

Allen Fahden:  Okay, and that’s pretty rare, but one of the things-

Karla Nelson:  Yeah cause they’ve never been tasked with the job of actually hiring somebody.

Allen Fahden:  Right. Right. One of the things that they are really attuned to is that they really don’t want to be engaged in the first place, but it can show up in a couple of different ways. I mean, what they really want to be doing is to be left alone, not go to any meetings, and do real work. You know, improve the system, do the routine. And it’s great because they’re great finishers and they make you a lot of money. They’re the ones to convert your revenue into profit. But there are a couple different ways it can go.

One is, I think we talked in another podcast about the person who is in charge of ordering all the hats for a baseball team. We had one cap that we tested, and it tested really well. I said, “Great. How many are you going to order?” He said, “Oh, I’m not going to order any more of these.” I said, “Why not? It tested really well. We could sell so many of these.” He said, “Well yes. The problem I’d have to keep reordering them all the time.” So my jaw just dropped. I couldn’t believe it. But so that’s a-

Karla Nelson:  As if that was a bad thing for most people would not think that.

Allen Fahden:  Right, right. Then I also had another client who was a manager who was in charge of dealing with me. I’d go to present him something and he’d say, “Stop. Stop. That’s your job. I really don’t care what you’re doing there. Just tell me what it’s going to cost and don’t go over the cost, and get it done on time. Don’t bother me with the rest of this. I’ve got a lot of stuff I need to do.” Okay. So these are people that like to do the tasks. They like to do what they call real work. Don’t want to be in the meetings. Don’t want to deal with ambiguity. That’s great, but if you’re going to do something new and really make it happen again, you’ve got to get a mover, and you’ve got to handoff in the right order to the right people in the right place at the right time. And that makes a great team, but if you’re stuck with some idea or in a situation with somebody, at least these have been some ways to deal with them.

Karla Nelson:  Excellent. Love it. So if you’ve got a maker, remember you still have to balance out the team, or even the others. If you’ve got a prover or a shaker, and even a mover as a client, it’s really important that you still focus and balance out that team to ensure you have a WHO to go to in order to ensure your client is happy, and that at the end of the day, you’re getting stuff done because that’s why you’re there. You’re there-

Allen Fahden:  And these people aren’t even in your company. What we’re talking about here is extending your reach and allowing you to be successful in your client’s businesses because if you don’t get your recommendations implemented, it’s almost like you didn’t make it.

Karla Nelson:  Good point.

Allen Fahden:  It’s a failure. It’s a mess. So, you’ve got to be proactive, and this is the way you can do it, is to get the right people. Who do you want at the border lined between you and that company? You want the mover. And if you can’t get him, we told you how to deal with the other people, at least temporarily, until you can get in the organization and find a mover.

Karla Nelson:  You got it. So now we’re going to move to the promoter. Allen, how do you approach the work if your promoter is a shaker?

Allen Fahden:  Well, it’s the same set of needs. It’s the same core nature. So, they need to be part of the solution process. Let’s say they recommend you to a company, and they’re going to get you in there. Well, they may say, “Hey I want to play for awhile too because I’ve got some great ideas for them.” So, what you’ll want to do is make sure they get to imprint some of your solutions, and you’ll help them implement their ideas in the company they recommended you to. It’s kind of a win-win all the way around. I mean, everybody has a pretty good idea of what the right thing to do is. So, you’re not going to go overboard with this. You’re not going to go running off half-cocked just because you want, the shaker wants to get their idea. You negotiate. You can always have an eye out for it.

Karla Nelson:  You got it.

Allen Fahden:  They’ll have a status …

Karla Nelson:  And then again, at the end of the day, make sure you have that mover.

Allen Fahden:  Got to have that mover to make it happen in the promoter’s organization and also again back into your client’s organization. Movers everywhere.

Karla Nelson:  And it doesn’t really matter which side the mover is on. I think the point we’re trying to make is yes, how do you respond, but ensure that your team is balanced in the sales process, and in the connecting and identifying with your promoter’s process. So, everyone is different, and you need to meet them where they’re at, especially if they’re the decision maker, but again you’ve got to find that mover because at the end of the day, you’re in that room to facilitate something and to get something done. So, you want to make sure, especially being frustrated as a, say for instance, you’re selling some type of a service to a particular client. I like what you said, Allen. How frustrating is that, that they hired you and then you’re saying, “Hey this is what you should do to implement.” And they go, “No, sorry. We’re not going to implement that.” That’s the reason why it’s so important on either side of the fence with all of these, is to make sure that you’re finding that mover too.

And then running the process, because it’s not like you have to stop everything to run this relay process. You just have to understand it and understand who you’re working with.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, and at what phase of the project.

Karla Nelson:  And what phase of the project, exactly. Are we at ideation? Are we at command and control? Are we coming up with the solution or are we running and making the solution happen? Allen, how do you approach the work if your promoter is a mover?

Allen Fahden:  You step out of the way and give them what they want. You just run as fast as you can behind them saying, “How can I help? How can I help? How can I help?” They may turn it over to you. They may want to stay involved. But they’re certainly going to get you together with the right people. And the minute they cut you loose, you want to make sure you find a mover inside that client’s company you’re dealing with, and do all the things we talked about in the first part of this podcast.

Karla Nelson:  I really like what you say, that you said in regards to the client. I think it applies to the promoter here, is ask the question, what are your priorities.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, what’s important.

Karla Nelson:  It’ll do two things. First of all, you’ll get their perspective, but second of all, if you’re not a mover, you’ll get a priority list and what’s most important all the way down to least important. So literally you’ll be able to serve your promoter in the way that they want to be served, or in the way that they want their client to be served.

Allen Fahden:  And that’s huge.

Karla Nelson:  Absolutely. Well and just asking the question, right? Because they all want something slightly different, even though it’s still your job to build a team around it, right?

Allen Fahden:  Right, right.

Karla Nelson:  Allen, how do you approach the work if your promoter is a prover?

Allen Fahden:  That’s a good one.

Karla Nelson:  This is a big one.

Allen Fahden:  It’s somewhat the same way, but if your promoter’s a prover, what you want to do is be very proactive in questioning them. Say, “Okay, let’s get out on the table what can go wrong here. Let’s say this goes badly, what’s going to happen to you? What are the things you want to avoid at all costs?” For example, a person might say, “I want you to keep your word. Any promises you make, you’ve got to deliver on that because that’s the kind of relationship I want with them, and I’m really concerned that you’re not going to be able to do that. So, what you want to do is convince them that you can do that, or even if you can’t do it and you know you can’t, you’re probably better off saying, “I’ll step aside and get somebody who can.”

Karla Nelson:  Exactly.

Allen Fahden:  Or I’ll add some people onto the team who are great at finishing and fulfilling promises. So, you get everything out in the open. You figure out what can go wrong, and it’s worth every second you spend on that because then you’ve got that person who’s recommending you. You’ve got their agenda, and you know that they’re going to be looking out for what can go wrong. It’s just their nature. So, you want to be ahead of them and you want to be in a lot of communication with them. I’m saying, “Here’s what we’ve done.”

Karla Nelson:  You’re hilarious, because you actually came up with an objection a prover would have, and you moved into your shaker role and actually saw the problem. Did you notice that?

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. Even that-

Karla Nelson:  And that’s the methodology. So when they come up to you, right? That’s the way you turn back right around and make them feel comfortable in saying, “Hey, we can work with your client,” for whatever reason they’re sending them to you. Then we can work with that, and we can ensure that you are going to get what you specifically need, prover, and we can remove the fear based off the fact the process was run. And it could just be there because just because they have five different things that they’re really afraid of that they don’t want to potentially be in that type of a promoter relationship with you. When you overcome them, when you create new ideas to be able to put their mind at ease, then it opens up the opportunity that you’re not … If they can’t come up with any more objections, then it’s, at the end of the day, obviously they still have to make a decision if they’re going to work with you and open up their client database to you.

Allen Fahden:  And then down the road a little bit, another thing you can really do that’s effective with them is give them a preview of what you’re going to propose to the client that they recommended you to. So again, you can go through the same exercise and say, “Look, let’s take a look at our recommendations here. I want to make sure this doesn’t adversely effect your business with them, what you’re doing.” So, they get a chance to say, “Well, I’m a little concerned about recommendation number three.” You always say to a prover, “Great. Please be specific. Tell me what can go wrong. Tell me the consequences of it to you if it goes wrong,” and then you can work that out.

So, you’re looking out for them. One of the things about your recommenders, is you always want to go back and look out for them. There’s some specific ways of doing that because that will help build that relationship. They’re going to get more comfortable with recommending you to other people because that’s how you … One way you build trust is, especially with provers, is say, “Tell me what can go wrong,” and then respect them for it. Then work it out with them and come up with some solutions until they’re satisfied that that’s been solved.

Karla Nelson:  You got it. You got it. One more question here for you, Allen.

Allen Fahden:  This is a fun one coming up.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, this is an interesting one. How do you approach the work if your promoter is a maker?

Allen Fahden:  Again, that’s somewhat rare, but the coolest thing about it is that they really don’t care too much about it. They’ll say, “I’m going to recommend you. You’re good. They have a need. Here you go. I’m going to hand this over to you.” It’s like, “Don’t ever call me about this. I’m out of it. I’ve got some things I need to do that are much more important.”

Karla Nelson:  There’s one thing about the makers, they’re absolutely happy, like positive or negative response, it doesn’t really matter. It’s more like the, leave me alone, let me get out of here because I’ve got things I have to do.

Allen Fahden:  I mean, there’s some exceptions to this, but really not very often. So, you can be independent, and of course you want to do a good job for them and everything, and you want to keep them in the loop, but don’t expect them to want to get involved and take on a bunch of extra stuff. They’ve got enough to do, running all the day-to-day details that people like you and I, Karla, don’t even see because we’re early adopters, movers and shakers.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, all the people that do the real work, the makers.

Allen Fahden:  The real work.

Karla Nelson:  The real work.

Allen Fahden:  That’s right. They’re the ones.

Karla Nelson:  And so the interesting thing is if somebody is a promoter and is a maker, they’re likely inside of a larger organization. That’s probably not going to be the CPA or the business attorney or somebody in a smaller business. It will be the HR individual that’s a support person that got the detail of ensuring when somebody comes through with X, that they need to send them to you and have that conversation. They’ve probably been told it, that this is the way it works.

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, they like to obey the rules. Makers always want to obey the rules, and therefore you can almost depend on that like clockwork, because that’s what’ll happen. So, they don’t want to make any waves. Then you just go about your business and treat them well.

Karla Nelson:  They’ve got to get back to their checklists, man. With that, then remember, we went through how you approach work if your client is each of the core natures, and then your promoter is each of the core natures. Remember, ensure you know what the core nature of work is, not only for your team. It’s not just the team. It’s interesting. Most of the time, we just focus on finding the early adopters with the client, and how do you actually do that. That’s a whole other podcast, but it’s not only your team. Move that into working with your clients and your promoters. Remember, you have to find or bring the mover.

Allen Fahden:  Yep. You know what, it’s just like your team. In fact, the more you start looking at your client and your promoters, the people you work with in those companies as being part of your team, the better off you’re going to be. You can apply the exact same principles and logic to your team, to your clients, and to your promoters. They’re all part of your team. And the sooner you realize it, the more successful you’ll be able to reach into another organization and implement things in a powerful way.

Karla Nelson:  You got it. I love that, because again at the end of the day, people support what they build. We need you all, we just don’t need you all at the same time.

Allen Fahden:  I love that one.

Karla Nelson:  With that, Allen, thank you so much for your time today-

Allen Fahden:  Thank you, Karla.

Karla Nelson:  … in this, the conclusion of the eight part series, Me, We, Us All, and Them. Until next time, this is Karla and Allen signing off.


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