Even after more than 10 years of demonstrating our system to new clients, I still love the experience. Each one is different, you never quite know which way the conversation will go. Every company has its own set of challenges and each team has its own characters. Finding out about these and figuring out how we can help is a fresh conundrum every time. So often the answer lies in spending time with them, asking lots of questions and really listening to the answers to determine the best solution.
Making a conscious effort to build a relationship from the very first conversation is baked into the Appraisd culture. We’re not here to sell an off-the-shelf system. This would be easy (if a bit dull for us) but could be totally wrong for the customer. We believe it’s wrong to try to force people down a fixed route or dictate their approach to performance management. Spending time to understand what they are trying to achieve and working with them to make this a reality certainly takes longer, but the results are much, much more rewarding for all concerned.
Our approach means that customers get what they want, a system and process that supports their business, managers and employees, making a concrete improvement to their bottom line. They know their dedicated account manager is there whenever they need help and will proactively suggest new ideas to help them get better results. We’re here to go on their journey with them, a companion that won’t abandon them once they’ve signed on the dotted line.
It also means my team is more challenged, engaged and invested in each and every customer. Their expertise, knowledge and insight add a value that is hard to replicate. Just as I want to make work rewarding for our customers, I want to do exactly the same for my own staff. Encouraging them to get to know their customers and their issues, helps build incredibly positive and strong relationships and makes every day different and exciting.
And these strong relationships bear fruit. Last year, an amazing 50% of our sales came from referrals, people who took the time to recommend us to a colleague or peer. There is nothing more compelling than great feedback straight from the horse’s mouth. I believe so many of our customers are prepared to do this because we treat them as individuals, take our time to get to know them and make them feel like they matter. This is priceless.
I’ve always been convinced that while we sell software, this is a people industry. Getting to know people and what they need is what this business is built on. Remembering and acting on our values of helpfulness, humility, enthusiasm, action and 100% commitment will be the key to continuing our successful growth.