Windows to the soul

Look into my eyes. Not around the eyes, but into the eyes. Turns out it’s not just hypnotists that need eye contact to succeed…

I talked a lot (read: incessantly) about the customer journey and our new follow-up process on the tail end of last year. And for those of you who think I’m making a new year’s resolution to change tack – think again.

Welcome to 2014. And for my first blog of the year – welcome to the world of client relationship management. One week in, and our Head of Client Relationship Management has already delivered his end of the Bristol bargain with seven presentations to our sales teams. For Mike, at least, it’s a case of one down, two to go as we head out to New York for a week before jumping across to Miami for more of the same.

Groundhog day it may well be, but with good reason: strong client relationship management is central to GDS’ future – not because it allows us to deliver better results for our clients (that should be inherent), but because it draws us back down to the essence of our business: people.

Of course, you could argue that’s the essence of every business, but let me expand: the conversations our events accelerate are only ever as good as the relationships we can build with those we invite leading up to them. Why? Frankly put, because our clients are part of our product spec. They have to be.

With that in mind, our first port of call on the client relationship management voyage docks at technology bay. Or – for those of you not reading this on the Bering Sea – it’s all about leveraging the video technology we have with MeetTheBoss to create a face-to-face environment to talk with our clients.

That’s talk. Not sell.

Alexander Bell may have created one of the world’s most important tools for communication with the telephone, but to this day it carries with it one inescapable flaw: an absolute lack of visibility from both sides. To take any relationship – personal or professional – to its next stage, you need faces. Faces build trust, and trust builds relationships.

Over the coming months, Mike and GDS’ senior management will be focusing on the importance of embracing client relationship management in its nascent stages. As for myself, I’ll be offering a running commentary of the why’s, how’s and when’s across the next few blogs and delve into why client relationship management is more of a two way street than most care to imagine.

For now, I’m off to grab one of New York’s finest coffees and say hello to our staff from across the pond.

Good morning jet lag.

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About Spencer Green

Spencer Green founded GDS Publishing Ltd in October 1993 to specialise in industrial, government-led publications for the burgeoning Chinese market. The company launched over forty business-to-business titles, was name-checked alongside Tony Blair on China’s national news as ‘best for Chinese business’, and – following a move into India – deemed to be ‘of national importance’ by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. In 1998, GDS Publishing became GDS International and launched its first conference, Enterprise China. The hugely successful Enterprise series of conferences was rolled out across China and Latin America in the next two years. In 2000, GDS International launched its first Senior Executive Summit under the ‘Next Generation’ banner. This became the catalyst for nine years of 25% year-on-year growth... and 40% growth in 2010. In 2011, GDS held over 70 Summits for C-level Executives from a wide range of industries and across the globe, and eight digital marketing conferences. Today, GDS International is determined to become the world’s no. 1 business-to-business media and services company. It’s going to be an exciting journey! Spencer is married to Emily. They have two children, Finlay and Maya, and live in Bristol, UK.
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