The sun always sets – even if the beautiful view is obstructed, it sets.
How can you delay a sun-setting on your best business relationships? How can you attempt to create a beautiful, unobstructed view as often as possible? I encourage you to analyze your client relationships, specifically the most challenging ones that drain you. It is those relationships-the ones where connection is missing or showing signs of strain―that you need to focus on repairing before you lose the client’s confidence and ultimately their business.
However, before you spend time trying to repair the relationship, you need to give serious consideration to the following questions:
1. Why did you lose that connection?
Until you fully understand the reasons why the relationship is struggling, any attempt to repair it may be futile or potentially more damaging.
2. Ask yourself, “What could I have done differently?”
By humbling ourselves and understanding the active role we must play in each relationship, the better chance we have of not repeating our mistakes. Plus, this exercise also reminds us of the ageless concept about the customer always being right. An great, active relationship is two-sided.
Recently, my wife and I have moved two long-term business relationships, as time consuming as that sometimes is, simply because we felt they did not care, or know, that the relationship lacked something. For them, we were not a challenging relationship until, I suppose, we started to ask more questions. That’s when their true bed-side manner began to show. We felt that, over time, they did not ask the right questions, listen to our questions and concerns and have genuine empathy for us. After the relationship transitioned, we seem to get their attention – a bit too late for them, however.
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