Over the past five years, I have studied, in depth, about 50 Level 6 relationships across a variety of service markets—including consulting, accounting, law, financial services, advertising, public relations, and technology services. I have also reviewed several hundred additional client relationship case studies that have provided supporting data to the 50 detailed reviews. Two things became apparent as I analyzed these relationships. First, a multiplicity of strategies contributed to their development. Second, these strategies were successful because they were able to take root in a culture of collaboration and client focus. Let's look first at the strategies that were used, which form the core of this book.
There are 10 distinct strategies that contribute to the development of Level 6 trusted partner relationships. They are not all used at once and, depending on the individual client, they may vary somewhat in importance. Five of them tend naturally to be the individual professional's responsibility, while the other five must be driven more by the institution:
Strategies That Are Mostly the Responsibility of the Individual Professional