Q: Where do you get all your creative ideas?
A: Someone asked us that once; we gave them an honest answer and they stopped speaking to us. Over a dolphin-safe tuna salad sandwich or some unagi, sometime, we'll tell you.
Q: What's really distinctive about Clarity's offering?
A: It boils down to substance and style on four issues: Tools. Personal Engagement and Commitment. Flexibility. Our value focus.
First, our tools work. Our clients tell us, "You give us practical stuff we can use immediately." We’re low on theory, high on immediate applicability and ease of use.
Second, personal engagement and commitment. We do "life" with our clients; business is part of that, and so are birthdays, marriages, parents, soccer games, and music. And, food. We like food.
Third, we’re flexible—we adapt to each client, and we adapt during each engagement as we learn more.
Fourth, our focus on value—defining, positioning, differentiating through sales process, and managing sales process to increase value and consistency. You see these themes in the exquisitely distinctive WEEKLY SALES THOUGHT e-mail. Click to see one or sign up.
Q: Do you guarantee your work?
A: Without hesitation. Further, in highly collaborative relationships, we have based our compensation on client results.
Q: Is your work successful in other cultures?
A: Our work has been carried successfully into Mexico, the Spanish-speaking and English-speaking Caribbean, Canada, and Boston (sorry, just kidding).
Q: Why is the business called "Clarity”? Sounds like window cleaning.
A: Our founder, Nick Miller, chose "Clarity" to reflect his belief that business results and clients’ lives will be significantly richer and more productive if certain things are clear—the value of people, products, and services; expectations, processes and procedures; and communication. Frankly, the guy is a whacko on the subject. He also believes passionately in disciplines—planning, management, and execution—but the name “Disciplines Corporation” might have been a little too kinky for our clients. At least when he founded the firm. Who knows now?
Q: Why the focus on accelerating sales of financial services to small and medium-sized businesses?
A: Speaking of kinks, this one's pretty good. Founder Nick is financial by background (B.A. with honors in Economics; University of Chicago MBA in finance; graduate of The First National Bank of Chicago, one of the finest banks that ever was); education by breeding (the Miller family are teachers, going back four generations); and (owing to his experience running a business) emotionally attuned to the challenges of running owner-managed small and medium-sized enterprises. Many under-served companies out there need financial services products, if they could only figure out how to buy them. Other than that, we're normal.
Q: Do you hold open training sessions?
A: Occasionally. Not often. However, we do offer webinars and tele-clinics that are open in a sort of electronic way.
Q: How many employees do you have?
A:Short anwer: Four. They provide the "core" services of the company — sales, administration, project management, and healthy food. Longer answer: Our team also includes another ten — subcontractors we've worked with for years. For any given project, we draw the team members from this network based on our clients' needs. Our business is based on trust relationships. They stay with us because they're challenged and recognized for their work. They're brilliant.
Q: Have you aligned with other firms to support your clients?
A: Yes. Among the principal firms are Vertical IQ (industry knowledge and call planning tools), The Small Business Company (small business content for bank web sites), Advantage Performance Group (sales tools and training materials), and Econiq (on-screen sales process and conversation support). In addition, we have strong relationships with Financial Institutions Consulting (strategy consulting and implementation), Novantas (strategy consulting and quantitative analysis), athPower (customer experience research), Greenwich Associates (client research), BCSG (tools for small business owners sold by banks), and Guidemark (sales force automation and information tools).
Q: Can you give me directions?
A: Yes. Any time you like. We love to give directions.