Relationship Advice With John Egan
Posted: February 11th, 2013Author: All4 Staff
In the spirit of celebrating the month of love, we’d like to commend John Egan’s dedication and ability to build strong and lasting (business) relationships with his EnviroReview clients. John is a principal of ALL4 and one of the EnviroReview consultants, providing valuable environmental expertise through the EnviroReview consulting call.
John began providing EnviroReview consulting calls one year ago and is excited to celebrate his one year anniversary with his EnviroReview clients. Because of the overwhelming success of the monthly EnviroReview calls, John has agreed to provide his most treasured relationship advice in an exclusive interview.
1. John, our clients have really valued the one-on-one consulting calls with you over the past year. What’s the secret to building such strong relationships?
I try my best to provide them with timely information that’s important for their work. I may have been doing this a long time but it doesn’t make me any smarter than they are, so I work to make the call a sharing experience. They tell me what’s important for them, I tell them what I know or don’t know about it. I work to get them answers or we work through issues together, and I try not to get too serious. Given the typical subject matter the news isn’t always uplifting so it is important to maintain a sense of humor. Since we’re all in this together, it’s good to have someone else to share with and that’s how the relationships develop.
2. Even in the best of relationships and especially over the phone, it can be difficult to keep the conversation going. There can be awkward silences and either party can often run out of things to say. Does that ever happen to you?
Normally that only occurs when there are a number of parties at different locations on the call and people are reluctant to speak up and ask questions. If you stop and think about it, there really are no dumb questions in this business – just consider how illogical some of the rules are. When folks get comfortable with my way of being, they usually don’t hesitate to ask questions or contribute. Anyway, if there’s nothing to talk about we just end the call. Typically though, given the nature of what we all do, there is always something else to talk about. If an EnviroReview call ends early, it is usually because we’ve covered what’s important and my client has other pressing priorities.
3. It’s been a year now and you haven’t had any “break-ups”; how do you keep the spark alive?
I often tell my wife: “You have to continuously water the garden” meaning regular communication is key. The bottom line is that there is tremendous value in sharing information, including opinions, with others who work in the same field. You both learn, you commiserate, you look for humor in what could be considered painful topics, you get to know each other, and you grow personally and professionally.
Many of our clients had subscribed to an automated subscription service in the past; they know what is out there. They may look pretty but there’s no support. ALL4 recognized that need and because environmental consulting is what we do best, it was a natural fit. We work hard to keep the relationships strong and healthy, but it takes two to tango, and we are most thankful to our clients.
EnviroReview is ALL4’s environmental regulatory consulting service.