The Adaptive Agency Blog

Transforming Intent Is Your Top Strategic Priority

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Strategy

New employees and customers mostly come to you for two simple reasons:

  • Save some money (customers).
  • Make some money (employees).

That’s their intent. And it’s fine. At first.

But if you don’t transform that intent, it will be the reason they leave you.


Suppose you just hired a new employee. Her intent is to make another dollar or two per hour.

You do nothing to transform her intent.

A year later someone offers her yet another dollar or two per hour. What’s going to happen? She’s going to leave, of course. It’s nearly 100% predictable.


Or say you just acquired a new customer. He came to you to save $100-ish on his auto premium.

Again, you do nothing to transform his intent.

18 months later you experience a premium increase. His premium goes up by $100. What’s going to happen?

He’s going to start accepting quotes from competitors. It’s nearly 100% predictable.

Solve this churn problem by Transforming Intent.

Tired of starting over with employees and customers?

Then you have to change the reason they’re with you.

Saving some money is not a long-term value proposition for customers. Making some money is not a long-term value proposition for employees.

You have to demonstrate a value proposition beyond just the dollars.

This is bedrock differentiation stuff. If you’re not thinking about this, your growth strategy has a huge hole in it.

Employee Intent Questions To Ask Yourself

Coming up with tight answers to these questions will make getting and keeping talent way better:

  1. What kind of employees am I trying to attract?
  2. Why should they come to work for me?
  3. Why should they stay for longer than average?
  4. Why should they say no to a better offer?

The answer can’t be “for a paycheck”. It has to be something of value to your target employees that your competitors don’t offer.

Here are a few high-value ideas that might help you differentiate yourself from other employers:

  • trust
  • care
  • purpose
  • flexibility
  • security
  • appreciation
  • significant, recognizable personal and professional growth

If your new employee’s intent shifts to one or more of these, they’re likely to stay with you much longer.

Customer Intent Questions

Same goes for customers. You and your team need to know the answers to these questions cold:

  1. What kind of customers are we trying to attract, acquire, and retain?
  2. Why should they do business with us?
  3. Why should they continue to do business with us long-term?
  4. Why should they say no to a cheaper alternative?
  5. Why should they give us all of their business?
  6. Why should they refer people to us?

The answer can’t be price. It also can’t be “We offer great service.” That’s mandatory. It’s only a differentiator if your competitors are horrible.

Here are a few high-value ideas to consider:

  • relevance
  • personalization
  • expertise
  • empowerment
  • education
  • follow-through
  • commitment
  • access to your network
  • streamlining and consolidation
  • not being salesy

Bottom Line

Employee and customer churn are HUGE hidden costs for most businesses.

Even bigger is the opportunity cost of not compounding because you’re too slow to scale.

If you start keeping more employees and customers, both of these costs will go down.