Should you have an affair with your client?

Technically our clients should be our main priority.  We should be obsessed with fulfilling their needs as opposed to feeding our own ego.  Being client focused equates to almost the same level of dedication when you are in love with that someone special.  You go out of your way to ensure their needs are satisfied as opposed to your own.  And yes, there is a lot to be said for just having an affair, being in love or truly love your client if ‘client focus’ is your main concern.

It’s a matter of time

We spend the majority of our adult life working. Either at work, surrounded by people, or at home slaving away. Or at least that is how it is supposed to happen. How does this fact impact your business relationships? The average time spent at work equates to 8,6 hours per day. You spend on average 54% of your day working and if you are a really dedicated entrepreneur that percentage shoots up through the roof!  

As an entrepreneur, our time is incredibly valuable.  You would not stand on top of a bridge and toss the one R5 coin after the other into a river for an entire day, or would you?  By focusing on your own needs as opposed to being client focused, you could be tossing away massive amounts of opportunities.

Choosing between a client affair & client love

Why do you spend so much time at work? Are you only doing it for the money or are you really committed to bringing about change in your client’s life.  I do believe that if you are in business only to make money and drive that shiny new car, it is like opting for the exciting love affair.  Lots of fun while it last, but it will end sooner than later.  Unfortunately most people seem to be stuck on getting to the shiny seven figure income.  It’s all about me and how awesome I am. When last did you consider what you have to do to make your clients fall in love? 

Love Thy Client

Some time ago, I expressed my view that if we are in love with our clients as opposed to our own product or service, we are in for some serious brand building. (Please read ‘Love thy client‘ for more detail on this metaphor.)

The premise of ‘Love thy client’ is that our focus should be ingrained in knowing exactly what our clients want and needs so that everything we do revolves around them as opposed to ourselves and our product. And for this to happen, you need to spend a lot of time finding out what your clients need. You might even need to sneak out and spend quality time with them on a regular basis. (No, this is all still strictly within working hours and within the boundaries of your dedication to your business.)

Affairs vs Relationship

Should you have an affair with your client as opposed to a long-term relationship? Good question with lots of opportunities for debate. Let’s consider the facts. An affair is traditionally short-lived. Lots of passion and energy, but it’s all about me and what I want. Very little that goes into an affair is for the benefit of the other party. Is this the type of relationship that you want with your client? (Yes, we are still speaking about the metaphor.)

Another question to consider is how many affairs do you know of that end well? Right at this point in time, I cannot recall any. If you want a lasting relationship you need to forget about your needs and focus on theirs. You cannot milk your client for everything he’s got and then expect him to become a raving fan. He’s probably going to tell you ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ sooner or later. Leaving you down in the dumps and probably out of cash. Easy come easy go.

It’s a full-time process

Finding out what your client needs is unfortunately a full-time process. If you get it right, you might possibly discover a brand new service offering or product. And the opportunities are huge. Most companies get it wrong or do such a half-hearted, short-lived job of client-love, that if you get your act together and invest in this full-time relationship, you can be the belle of the ball.

Psycho what?

Apart from making the commitment to spend time knowing and understanding your client, the trick is to be on top of your client’s psychographics. Psycho what? Psychographical analysis is the process of knowing and understanding the attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria of your ideal clients. This is critical if you acknowledge the fact that marketing your business entails knowing and understanding your clients so well that your product or service fits them perfectly and sells itself.

Collecting & Understanding the Data

You can fly by the seat of your pants, or you can add structure to the process with feedback forms, surveys, and interviews. If you really want to score big, I suggest you pick up the phone and have a candid conversation with your clients. Or you can drive out to them. They would be so impressed that you have made the effort, that you would soon have a bouquet of raving fans eager to shower you with testimonials, and ultimately you would be able to chisel your product and service to absolute perfection.

The next step in being client focused

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As always, AddVenture Business Coaching & Consulting is available for one-on-one support or you could join our tribe of entrepreneurs at addVENTURES to learn, network, collaborate & grow together in the process of redefining the love between you and your client.

Have fun loving your client!

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