Stop getting clients?
This would be the beginning of the end, wouldn’t it?
Sometimes it’s the knee-jerk reactions that need to be observed and dissected; however, it’s difficult to notice these reactions because they’re the reactions we don’t notice. Knee-jerk reactions are self-explanatory; they’re automatic, so we aren’t aware.
The fact we don’t notice certain things is what’s difficult and humbling – especially when it comes to our clients. Who are our clients? What makes them tick? How are they doing? What do they enjoy? What did they do last weekend? Do we know anything about them outside their business? Do we look forward to hearing from them?
“LITTLE” THINGS MATTER
It’s our opinion the above questions are, literally, just as important as the deadlines attached to respective projects and their results. The production and delivery of a contracted service is a given, but what makes the difference is whether or not the results are coming from something genuine.
Anybody can get a meal at a fast-food restaurant, and we often don’t care where it comes from so long as it’s on the way home because “they’re all the same.” Or, are they? What if the people at the establishment always made you smile, knew you by name, and gave you a personalized card during a hypothetical rough family matter because they actually knew you further than a transaction?
Some may be thinking, “Well…that would take too long…and if the guy on the bad speaker sent me a card, I’d call the cops.”
On a serious note, if we’re honest, we’d definitely drive out of our way to the location that delivered our service with enthusiasm, or – more likely – because we wanted to deal with them instead of the other way around.
RELATIONSHIPS, NOT CLIENTS
The power of relationships is the power of making the motivation go both ways. If a business merely has clients, the motivation is skewed more in the direction of the business wanting to keep the client. If a business has a relationship, the motivation is likely in equal harmony between the business and the “client.”
The power of these relationships goes further than on-going business or word of mouth recommendations that create more business. The power of these relationships shows itself through the sense of purpose that’s missing from too many lives and the feeling too many don’t have about their work, career and life.
AGAIN…THE “LITTLE” THINGS…
I used to wonder why the guy at the corner store was so damn happy. No matter what day it was, there was a worker who wasn’t really old, yet not young either, and he was consistently happy and interacting effortlessly with customers. Being much younger, I didn’t understand, but I did notice. Rather than trying to understand at the time, I simply assumed he was complacent and afraid to “Go Big!”
In those days, being nearly finished with college, I was missing the “little” things that matter – the things that actually make the difference. The reason this amazing man at the corner store was so happy is because he had purpose. He knew the people walking in those doors. He knew because he cared. He enjoyed his job because he made it less of a job through genuine relationships with his coworkers, but mostly through genuine relationships with customers because they were why he was paid to do his job – a job he did exquisitely.
More importantly, the people walking in those doors knew he cared. People know if we’re genuine – or they will figure it out eventually – but they’ll give us a chance to figure it out if we try. However, if we don’t figure it out, we’re just a business, and they’ll only be a client.
HORSE BEFORE THE CART
There’s a saying out there some may have heard, which is “Fake it until you make it.” This saying used to drive me crazy because if I was faking something, I didn’t do it…period. However, the saying is meant to initiate a start – the start of something that maybe didn’t come naturally right away. At a certain point, though, we must be genuine because faking doesn’t generate lasting relationships, which – in the end – are the only kind.
To end, there’s nothing wrong with the word “clients” – and these words weren’t typed with the intention to eliminate the word “clients” from the business lexicon for all eternity. If anything, these words are a reminder to ourselves to maintain what we set out to do at GoEdison, which is to have relationships not “clients.” In other words, we want our clients to be relationships, and that happens by caring about them – not merely their ROI, their website traffic, and the recognition we help achieve.
We don’t forget about results, but the results mean much more when we’re invested in the people who invest in us.