Why do you do what you do?
Why should anyone pay you to do what you do
What will keep clients paying you, as opposed to anyone else, to do what you do?
There are many things that will define one person’s decision-making process over someone else’s, but I believe there are 3 considerations that people have – consciously or unconsciously – when choosing a business partner, supplier or consultant to work with – Trust, Respect, Likeability
Trust – this element centres around a belief that
What you say you CAN do, you actually can do
What you say you WILL do, you actually will do
How you say you will do it, is actually how things are done
The trust element is also about feeling that any risks involved are minimised or mitigated. People also want to be certain that what ever happens, you as the business leader will be up front, open and honest in how you deal with the unexpected – good and bad.
Respect –this element is about value
Valuing your capability
Valuing your experience
Valuing the way you do things
Valuing your promise of a solution that’s right for them
I always say get people’s trust and respect first and that lays a good foundation for building a future working relationship. If you miss out on these 2, you are less likely to develop relationships over time.
Why? Because when things go wrong and invariably something happens that is unforeseen, without this basis of trust and respect a relationship will falter – more often than not.
Likeability – this element is about connection
Connecting on a personal level – you are like me
Connecting on a values level – you believe the same things that I do
Connecting on a aspiration level – I feel you are someone that “gets me” and what I want, need and desire
I firmly believe that many business leaders and entrepreneurs, in their rush or desperation to get business, take on clients that they don’t like (yes it works both ways). For me liking someone or feeling “this is someone I can work with” is crucial because the working relationship will define – in part – the success of any contract or project. Even more so in a coaching relationship, you must feel a connection and desire to be with and support someone. And at a more basic level why would you choose to spend time with someone you don’t like?
I need the money is not a good enough answer!
So whilst proposals, contracts, meetings, product and service knowledge, the colour of your ties etc. might all be worth considering, I believe that the 3 key things to focus on when working with a new client are Trust, Respect and Likeability – for both parties.
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” Lao Tzu