Should you really do anything for a client, or should there be some kind of balance between you and your commitments?
Well, I am sure we can get a lot of different answers to that question dependable who you ask and what the circumstances are regarding business, commitments and how dependable they are of each other.
In most cases there is a good balance in the relationships between buyers and sellers, but of course it all has to do with how they have developed their relationship over the years.
If either party is stronger or weaker in their relationship with each other, there is tendency sometimes that either party gives in too early when they are put under pressure.
In some cases you also see that one side will decide to put the other one under pressure because they can, or because it is expected due to culture, kpi or circumstances.
It can, in some cases, be close to spoon-feeding your client or supplier, in some cases it can nearly be compared to the Stockholm syndrom, where you see your employee taking the clients side in a dispute or argument.
It is not uncommon today that you have an Account manager or in some cases Service assistants helping out or managing your client, in many cases they are loyal to a fault, if you follow my meaning.
Today is also more common that you outsource your service to a client and in those cases there is a third party who you and your client are connected trough.
For that reason you can find companies that decides to move around employees so they do not get to close to or friendly with the client, and to make sure that they keep a business mind in relation to the client.
I have, in some dialogues, found out that customers and clients sometimes puts an effort in by using kpi or by just trying to see how far they can go, in other cases they are recommended by consultants to go for the throat.
Basically you can argue that for a good relationship between clients its better that there is a balance from both sides where both parties puts a effort into making everything work.
It should not be to easy, but at the same time not to difficult, to find an agreement, and both parties should look out for praxis and behaviors that can trigger greed or at least lure either party into the belief that there is more to get by pushing some more.
The most common trigger that a relationship has gone the wrong is that suddenly one side decides to come with huge demand or counter demands and arguing for that they have given too much over a longer period and now need to be compensated.
One side reacts by asking them self why now, why did they not speak up before instead of slowly surrendering and by bleeding out for a longer period, we can not be mind readers, we asked and they gave in so easily, so we assumed we could ask for more.
Keep in mind, do not make any concessions or commitments without considering what the consequences to your relationship could be and if your respons would trigger any other behaviors or praxis that you would like to avoid.
I would also recommend you to consider what kind of nationality or business culture you are dealing with and in some cases you need also to take into consideration what kind of personality you are up against and your own personal profile .
It’s quite easy to put to much trust into different personality profiles, but at least they can give you some guidelines to what you should consider regarding your business proposals between you and your client.
I would also recommended that you take your time to do some health test to your business relationships and not wait until it is too late or too far gone, because it can take years to untrain your clients from bad behavior you have allowed them to develop.
In most cases it is your own fault that relationships has gone bad, it is rarely just one sides bad behavior, in some cases you have actually allowed the bad behavior to develop due to that you have not set any boundaries clear enough in time to stop it.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can train or untrain your clients to get back on track, and if you are aware there is a risk that it might develop if not corrected in time, then I could of course be of assistance.
Just to structure your expectations before we meet, I will give you an outside view of your issues, you need to be transparent and open to change, I may step on your toes, once or twice, but its all for the greater good.
Anyway, it is a great way to build stable long term client relationships, not only between you and me, but with most clients wherever they are, and whatever they are doing, at best they will develop a deeper respect and trust four your company.
Christopher Bell Blomquist Consulting
Lead Negotiator Consultant