For years I believed “business” and “personal” were always separate. It wasn’t until realized that how I was handling my relationships with clients was the exact opposite. More often than not, I found myself wholeheartedly focused and concerned about my customer’s and client’s objectives as my own. Here are 5 reasons why business is always personal.
- We are human beings. We are both driven by emotion and logic. Passion, once found and combined with our purpose, becomes the driving force for why we wake up in the morning. Along the way we will connect logical points with our decisions, thus giving us the foundation we require to build relationships.
- Engagement is connection. When we engage with each other, we establish a connection. Actively listening to our clients will gain far more distance than any pitch you can come up with. Ever. I’m not sure if it was Zig Ziglar or John Maxwell that said: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Regardless, we need to genuinely let it be known that we care. We can dazzle our clients with endless amounts of facts, lingo, fancy words, marketing sparkle, or whatever — but it’s not until they feel/know we actually care about their business objectives as they are our own, that they trust us.
- Our work is where we gain our identity. Most of us establish our identities by the work we do. Everything we do carries over into who we are as people. The time. The commitment. The passion. The quality. Everything. We spend most of our time working (hopefully enjoying our work along the way). The second most thing we do is sleep. Well, those of us that are human and not constantly hooked up to a coffee drip.
- Relationships are long term. Business to Business (B2B) relationships is simply to branded entities exchanging products and/or services for money. But when it’s all said and done, business is conducted between people, with people, for people. Successful companies focus on establishing rapport with their customers/clients for the long haul. This is usually (or at least should be) done by focusing on customer service.
- The bottom line is not the goal. Although during any transaction, there is a goal and an end result. And although at the end of the day (and fiscal period) the bottom line does represent the overall progress and health of an organization, it does define the baseline of success. If your customer’s best interest is not aligned with your own, you’ve either lost perspective or… simply lost. Period. Take a moment to step back and evaluate where you are with each client’s objectives. In the end, it’s about their bottom line… not yours.
How are you currently handling your relationships with your customers and what are you doing to establish long term rapport to help them meet their goals?