One of the biggest questions we get here at Online business Manager.com is business owners reaching out to us asking “Who should I work with and can you give me a recommendation?” We have several routes in which they can connect with our Certified Online Business Managers – including our Directory and RFP – but they still prefer a personal referral.
When asked for a referral we’ve historically looked first at “who is available?” Not anymore. I will tell you why in a moment but for now let me introduce you to the KOLBE Assessment (http://www.Kolbe.com) To be clear I am not trying to sell you anything (although the assessment costs money I do not get anything if you decide to take it – this is not a referral link). The folks at KOLBE don’t even know I am writing this blog post… what I know though is how powerful a tool KOLBE is when it comes to finding the right client match.
Let me tell you a bit about why we no longer start with ‘whoever is available’ when asked for referrals. Every Online Business Manager is unique in their strengths, skills and experiences… every business needs specific strengths, skills and experiences. When looking to make a good match we need to consider strengths and work-style alongside skill and experience. After 6 years of training, certifying and working with online business managers we have pretty much heard and seen it all. From business owners who expect WAY too much to OBM’s who deliver WAY to little. Good or bad we tend hear about it, which we LOVE as this allows us to continue to serve the community with a clear and exact understanding of the issues that can arise for the business as a whole.
What we have learned is often the problem isn’t the business owner or the OBM – it’s the mismatch between their thinking and work styles.
The KOLBE Assessment (Index A) allows us to see the natural instincts or distinctive method in which a person is going to think. I know there is an exact science behind all of this and I will not reveal my ignorance in trying to explain it, I encourage you to go check out their site and learn that for yourself.
When it comes to matching and referring potential OBM’s to business owners we want to ensure that there is a common ground for them to work together. For example, if the Kolbe assessment proves that the business owner is an initiating quickstart (meaning they make most of their decision from their expectation of the future and all that they see or desire of it- and they want to move fast!) and we pair that person with an initiating fact finder (meaning they make most of their decision from what is proven from past experiences – and they like to be methodical and move slower) these two styles will very quickly experience conflict. They are naturally disconnected in their ability to both communicate and work together for a common vision.
There are many factors that can bridge gaps between these two styles but what if the gap didn’t need to be that big nor the bridge that long, the relationship can move to a very successful place much easier. This is why we love the Koble Assessment as it allows you and your potential clients to start on a foundation of success vs. struggling through differences. Through the assessment we can take a look at the results and have a starting place to determine how the two thinking styles will work together… making it ohhh so much to assist OBM’s in finding ideal clients! And vice versa…. which in my book is a win for everyone.