Neurodiversity wins new sales

People buy from people and it’s likely that a significant portion of them are neurodivergent, writes Support to Win CEO Julie Mills.

Up to 10 per cent of the customers you currently work for and 10 per cent of the prospects you target are likely to be neurodivergent. This conservative estimate raises a number of important questions: Do you understand and communicate with them the right way? Do your staff even know how to? What internal policies or strategic plans do you have for ensuring you are as inclusive about neurodiversity as you are with race, religion, gender and sexuality?

Customer success
We all want equality, but ND-inclusion has more than just a moral dimension. Through their ND people businesses also become more competitive, build stronger teams and gain more success with customers. And I can tell you for sure that ND customers are happier working with ND-friendly organisations. Why wouldn’t they be? It puts them more at ease for a better customer experience, developing more trust and closer working relationships that ultimately result in higher spend.

Start with employees
Being an ND-friendly business for customers starts with being an ND-inclusive workplace for employees. Let’s say 10 per cent of your own customer-facing staff are neurodivergent – could you create a better environment that realises their maximum potential? Shifting towards an ND-inclusive stance breaks down barriers between staff and customers, making more of your people into true advocates for your brand. This is about more than the practicalities of ‘people working with people’ happily and effectively, it’s also about your reputation in the market and recognition for being a good corporate citizen that plays fair and embraces all.

Procurement rules
While being an ND-friendly business can make you more successful with customers, how can you generate more opportunities to win bigger and better deals too? Many public bodies (and big corporates) already have clauses in their procurement rules requiring vendors to demonstrate their commitment to diversity and equality. These will start to specifically reference neurodiversity in the near future, barring non-complaint parties from tendering.

Although unlikely to be onerous to start with – for example, a written ND policy or details of awareness and inclusion initiatives – they could ratchet up over time. This should focus minds, benefit the more ND aware, and create problems for those who haven’t planned ahead.

The reasons are adding up for business leaders to engage more with neurodiversity in 2024, and we are now supporting other businesses in the comms industry through structured training, consultancy and other targeted solutions. What are you waiting for?

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