We enjoyed an amazing long weekend with new friends. It’s rare to find two families that seem to be so compatible. But this family made us feel welcome; and we laughed and cried together as we shared stories and experiences. Our kids had a lot of fun playing and talking. We even enjoyed their well-behaved dog.
It occurred to me halfway through the relaxing weekend that personal friendships are much like business relationships. Yes, both can be close, and both can be fun. Here are 3 signs to a good relationship with your clients/customers:
- Interest in each other. In order to build great business relationships, you have to be interested in what they are doing. And it’s so important to be transparent when they ask questions about you. It’s ok to be vulnerable! Make sure that you’re asking questions and taking interest in them too. If you don’t know them well, you’ll never know their wants and needs. Be sure and listen!
- Offer mutual benefits. This goes without saying. Although some clients will end up not giving you benefits. They may bring additional revenues but not necessarily profits. And sometime there’s profit but no professional gratification. And of course, your client has to know clearly what benefits your business bring them. I didn’t say features, I said benefits. Features should convert into solid benefits. If there’s aren’t mutual benefits; it’s never wise to continue the relationship.
- Don’t overstay your welcome. The day will come when the relationship has overstayed the welcome. It’s hard to tell this. In fact, this weekend, we could have stayed for a few more days. The conversation was still fresh and we all were having fun. So how can you tell? It’s always better to cut a business relationship (or any relationship) a bit short before it starts to sour. It really has to be something you are sensitive too. The battle is to be watching for it. Nothing is worse than someone who stays a bit too long.
Good friendships are hard to come by. Maybe even harder than good business relationships. This weekend we started a journey with a family who is like-minded. And I’ve been so blessed to have excellent relationships with my clients too. Life is all about our relationships!