What “Phenomenal Results” Look Like
This presentation by Mary Ellen Bates at SLA 2011 Annual Conference was sponsored by the Solo Division, Legal & Management Division, and the KM Division
Client loyalty is established when expectations are managed upfront and deliverables consistently meet and exceed those expectations. If you missed Mary Ellen Bates’ presentation, she has posted it on her website along with many of her other excellent presentations. Here are the main points she covered:
- A value-added deliverable starts at the beginning of your transaction with the client. During the interview process, get to the “why” of the research question. Ask the client “What’s the ultimate purpose of this project?” and “What can I do to help you get there?”
- Then after you do the research, make sure you leave time for analysis and packaging your results. Look for patterns, trends, gaps, outliers, and make judgments based on your findings. Distill the information down into the core data and play around with various formats to organize it.
- Summarize results in as visual a way as the client wants. For instance, use presentation slides, spreadsheets, graphs, charts, and executive summaries on a branded template that you’ve created for your library. The Future Ready Toolkit on the SLA website has examples and templates in the Tools section.
- Other structured output formats that you can use are the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats, or try using the Five Forces Analysis to determine the attractiveness of a particular market.
- Include a cover letter with a description of the project and the next steps.
- Stretch yourself in creating a bank of samples and templates that you have branded and stored for creating the WOW-factor that keeps your clients coming back for more.
I was challenged to re-evaluate my services to clients and to restructure my time to allow for the type of presentation that will create loyalty.
By Mary Odom, MLS
Heart of America Chapter President