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March 26, 2014

Do you have a favorite client?

trust2I’ll bet you do.

But have you ever thought about WHY they’re your favorite client?

Interestingly, it’s almost never the size of the client.  Bigger isn’t always better.  And it isn’t always those clients that have the employees you connect with on a personal level – though that’s surely part of the equation.

More often, it’s defined by the ‘relationship’… and specifically, by the collaborative nature of it:

  • When both the supplier and the buyer see each other as valued partners.
  • When the buyer and supplier have the shared goal of helping the client succeed.
  • When the buyer asks the supplier for their input on ideas or directions.
  • When there is genuine mutual respect and not a superior-inferior relationship.
  • When the buyer understands that they are not the supplier’s only client and are sensitive to the supplier’s timelines, too.
  • When there are honest and frank conversations between the two – even if the content of those conversations is ‘difficult.’
  • When both parties know that the other will ‘do the right thing.’

Ultimately, it comes to down to one thing… TRUST.  Trust that is earned over time.  Trust that is backed up by actions.  Trust that will see the relationship through even the most difficult situations.

How many of your relationships with your clients are at this level?   

Not only does having a “trust relationship” with a client make the work that much more enjoyable and engaging, but it’s smart business, too.  Remember this… “All things being equal… people do business with people they trust.  All things not being equal… people still do business with people they trust.”

If you’ve got a strong “trust relationship” with a client, you’re going to be their supplier of choice for a long time to come… and that’s a competitive advantage that will be tough for any other suppliers to overcome.

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