Sailing the Seven C’s

Ted Pincus, who passed away in 2011, was a friend and mentor to many of us at Financial Profiles. He was a powerful force in the field of financial communications, and many media outlets dubbed him the “Father of Investor Relations,” which both amused and pleased him. Those of us who worked with Ted were awed by his passion for investor relations that remained undiminished throughout his 40+ years in the business. For Ted, the client always stood dead center of his passion and he wrote a memo about this to his staff in 1996 that resonates just as clearly today as it did then. Here are excerpts from that memo.

By Ted Pincus

So how do you turn on professional passion?

I’ll make it simple for you: You identify; you take personal ownership of each client account. Taking personal ownership? I’ll share with you my own sure fire formula to achieve this goal. I call it my Seven C’s.

  1. Confidence Take the trouble to really prepare, know your subject and feel good about your own degree of expertise. To be a consultant, you must have an opinion. You must have an emphatic opinion, an unambiguous opinion, a well-articulated opinion, and you must express it with force. This degree of conviction can only come across genuinely if backed up by confidence derived from strong preparation.
  2. Conceptualization Take the trouble to really get into the client’s dream. Really understand what his/her vision is and don’t let up until you have forced him/her to spell out the entire game plan for you. Have the savvy to see the distinctive excitement in the concept.
  3. Creativity Stretch your imagination. Don’t just listen to the client story. Give it some value-add. Make the business plan come to life.
  4. Control You must be sure to deliver what you promised. This means being very mindful of the contents of your proposal and implementation plan so that you can keep the program on track and on schedule.
  5. Confrontation You can’t generate passion while constantly lowering your achievement expectation. Don’t be satisfied unless a client relationship is moving along as it should. Don’t indulge in wishful thinking or keeping your fingers crossed. If you are frustrated say so. Confront the client and let him/ her know that you care enough to raise a ruckus.
  6. Correlation You must constantly think like the client and correlate the ROI of investor relations in each segment of our activity.
  7. Counsel! This provides the ultimate in gratification. In the consulting business nothing is as important as consulting. The most essential service of all is the establishment of an intimate confidential relationship with the client in which you are providing continuing input and expertise.
    True consulting is thinking big about the client, speaking up with conviction, and then being both persuasive and persistent. Most of all it’s really caring—and showing it.