Your first reaction to the headline of this article may have been … What is this? Why would I need to read this? After all, there is a good chance you are in a relationship and possibly you are even married. That may or may not be the case, but I would like to take you back to a time when you were dating to consider when it was appropriate to kiss the person you were meeting or, in old-fashioned terms, the person you were courting.
Let me put you at ease before I disrupt your thinking: This article is not about your intimate relationships, it is about the relationships you have with your customers.
You are probably thinking that I may have lost my marbles and besides, that would be breaking the cardinal rules of business … You never get involved with anybody you work with! NO I am not suggesting you have an intimate relationship with your clients, but you definitely need to connect with them emotionally. This implies effective acknowledgement, listening and engagement on their level of need, not yours – this is explained in more detail in Touch – Pause – Engage your Customers.
Let’s get back to the KISS – imagine you are trying to get the attention of the person you have met, you see them as a potential long-term partner, but they see you as an opportunity to get what they want from you. It could be a few free meals until you decide to advance to the next level. However they only wanted the meals and did not want to give anything in exchange … We call these type of people ‘gold-diggers’ – they only want what they can get out of you and are prepared to give nothing in return.
The question that must be asked is – are you a ‘gold-digger’ in the way you offer your services, effectively using your customers to see how much money you can get from them? The argument is that you have given them a product in exchange for their money and although this may be true, did you really build a relationship with them or was it just about the exchange?
If it is just about the exchange, please realise that you have a bad relationship with your customer, just like when you get involved with someone because they have money. Of course once the money goes, the so-called love goes and that person ejects themselves out of your life – in their eyes you no longer have value.
Therefore your approach should always be: what can I give, how can I meet the needs of the person? How do I get them to a point that they trust me and they are comfortable to share their real needs so that I can find a solution to their needs?
This is the point of the KISS in the business relationship – if we can maintain this level of trust, which won’t happen without communication and consistency. When this happens , we have built a lasting relationship with the client that is based on trust.
Of course this sounds like hard work and yes, it is. You need to ask yourself, what is this relationship worth to me? If you don’t see the value, there is always somebody who will see the value in that relationship.
My hope is that you will connect with the person and not their money, that you will build strong and lasting relationships in life, and in business, that will bring you to a point of sustainable significance in your life. The journey may be challenging, but I can assure you the rewards will be worth your effort. You may just find your ‘Prince’.