It’s really easy to get insulated in your perspective about your business, like it’s only a numbers game. The truth of it is that your business is an ecosystem, or a system (a network), formed by individual parts through interaction to form a community. This community – your business ecosystem – is interdependent on each of its’ parts.
For example, a community has homes, schools, grocery stores, churches, restaurants, boutique stores, auto supply stores, shopping malls, parks, all fueled by the electric company, water company, internet provider, cable companies… you get the point. Each part of the community has its purpose; each part depends on the other to be successful.
Likewise, your business is an ecosystem. You have an agent network, referrals, client leads and the deals that come from them, the commissions that are facilitated by marketing activities, relationship building and your team. Your team works with systems and technology to handle phone calls, track the progression of deals in the works, stay in touch with your clients, send out holiday cards and much more. You have to know your lenders and have a Rolodex of professionals to share with your clients when they need good contacts. Obviously, this is just a short list of what goes into making just one deal work… it’s mind-boggling what we do for a living!
So here’s the thing… you have to think about supporting all parts of your ecosystem to make sure everything is working right. That means everything from Thor’s Hammer to knowing the signals and timing of a deal to paying your team what they deserve (and which can never be enough, really… because, without them, you can’t do what you do, right?). Every part of your ecosystem has to be healthy and connect seamlessly to the other parts of the ecosystem.
I guess you could think about that in terms of technology too because your smartphone has to connect to the internet and have the right apps and sync with your computer for email and calendar. If any one of those things doesn’t work right – with just your smartphone!, your business will pay the price – you could miss an important call or update, unintentionally blow off a meeting, or miss a referral.
In case it isn’t clear yet why this is important, your business ecosystem influences how your clients and employees experience your business and the expectations they have of it. How all the parts of your business connect, and how effectively you streamline your operations, will determine the success (or not) of your business. The natural law of business is to deliver better experiences for more perceived value through efficiency – or your competitor will.
Now, one last factor in understanding ecosystems… your clients have their own ecosystems going too. Their ecosystems orient around their priorities – booking a pet sitter, scheduling travel, buying insurance, hiring movers, getting laundry done, going to the grocery store. You and your business are, ideally, one element of their ecosystem. However, if your client has a negative, or even just marginal, experience or, worst of all, their trust is broken about what they expected from your business, they will vote with their deals (and future referrals).
Clients are now more knowledgeable and empowered than ever. The last best experience they had with any business is how they will evaluate and set expectations with yours. If they call in, they expect you to know who they are, where their deal is and what’s next to get it done. Why? Because Amazon knows them and if Amazon can figure out what’s going on, you should be able to as well. The not-so-secret secret to that is having a good, healthy ecosystem in place.
The point is that your business needs a health check on every part of the system regularly. If you haven’t done an audit on your business ecosystem in a while, now is a good time to make that happen. Make sure you have the right people, the right technology, the right systems and protocols, the right hardware… otherwise, you’re fighting uphill to just get things done and you’re working too hard to overcome the kinks in your ecosystem.
Here’s the problem, we can’t read our own label when we are inside the jar. It takes somebody outside our jar to help us take an honest look at best practices / most results from activities.
If you would like myself, Scotty, or Ralph to look at what you are doing to see what tweaks could be done to get even more results with even less effort, you can reach out to us at www.LoanOfficerStrategyCall.com
See ya there.
Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally posted on LinkedIn
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