Relationship Breakthroughs (No. 4): Help Your Client through a Crisis

How do you get a breakthrough in a relationship? How do you take it to the next level? There are a number of actions that will help you do this. Over the next 15 blog entries or so, I am highlighting these one by one. Some are simple; some are very challenging. All help you move in the right direction.

Number (4): Help Your Client through a Crisis or Turning Point

In studying great advisors throughout history, I learned that there is often a “breakthrough moment” when the relationship goes to the next level. For Henry Kissinger it was helping the newly-elected John F. Kennedy with a critical speech about communism he was going to deliver in West Berlin. For Harry Hopkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s most trusted advisor, it was aggressively jumpstarting the process of distributing relief funds all around the country on his very first day in office–something that truly caught the President’s attention.

Be on the lookout for these types of “breakthrough” opportunities where you can really show your mettle:

  • An important presentation to top management that your client has to make
  • A project that will make-or-break an executive’s career (or, at least, their bonus for the year!)
  • A merger or acquisition
  • A career crisis
  • A personal crisis–for example, someone loses their job and you are supportive through the process of finding a new position
  • A business crisis–e.g., rapidly declining profitability (or even out-of-control growth)

A trusted advisor relationship usually develops gradually. But crises and turning points–”breakthrough moments”–can definitely accelerate the journey if you put yourself into the mix and demonstrate your value.

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