We all know those clients that feel more like old pals than simply individuals we do business with. They’re the type clients that make us find ourselves cackling at our desks about the inside-jokes within our emails or being legitimately stoked each time we get to chat. On the other hand, we also all can relate to having those certain clients that… (cough, cough) we don’t necessarily share a bond like that with. In fact, some clients might even be downright difficult.
Relationships with Clients
One of the biggest flaws many professionals have is that they lack the dedication to the people they do business with. Building positive relationships with the people we provide services for is the fundamental practice of any successful brand. There are a couple of different categories we can place our bonds with our clients into.
When you think about your current clientele, how do you feel about your relationships? Are they mostly positive or do you feel like there’s a lot that needs improvement?
Negative Relationships with Clients
- Benefiting the client, but hurting the company.
When your organization has a weak sales team (or the spines of jellyfish), it ends up that we can bust our butts for a price that isn’t even worth all the hardships. In these cases, clients are typically able to get anything they want and for a price that is an absolute steal. Plus, this creates an unhealthy and constant struggle to deal with the client potentially canceling anyway if their demands aren’t met. We all want our clients to be happy with us, but we should never have to bend over backwards for them. In the end, we ultimately resent the client and inevitably and subconsciously begin to underserve them. In the end, no one wins in this kind of relationship.
- Mutually negative relationships.
In sales, when you negotiate prices initially, there’s that standard back-and-fourth banter. However, if it just feels like upon agreement neither yourself nor the client really likes the deal then really—is it even worth your time and energy on either end? Eventually, both sides resent one another in this scenario.
Positive Relationships with Clients
- Mutually positive relationships.
At the end of the day, the business deal with our client is only as good as the relationship we have with them. In the instances where we both find value in one another, we are able to gain those super special customers for life. And if that’s not what any sales agreement should be, then I don’t know what is. Sure, there’s variables that make it impossible to make every single deal this way, but we really should strive for this in all our partnerships.