Doing excellent technical work is expected. This is a minimum requirement to work on projects and get business with clients. We are no longer limited by our choices to a local market of available talent. We can work with anyone anywhere on the issues we face in our business. We can measure results and decide if a relationship is worth continuing based on meeting expectations or having unmet expectations.
There is another side of a client relationship which I have learned is a great differentiator in my consulting. It is the ability to show care for the other person and their interests. My long-term relationships work because of interest and care about the pain and goals of the other person. Putting their interest above self-interest is critical for a relationship to grow.
I have seen many businesses which churn through relationships. They miss the importance of building and earning trust through care. They might be excellent technically, however, they miss the mark when it comes to going the extra mile beyond a mere transaction. They get stuck thinking about themselves and not the other. It is often the result that they are working hard to get the next client rather than receiving referrals and further ongoing business.
Here are some ways to express further care in your service to others:
- Provide the unexpected. I love it when I am at a restaurant and they think to provide something extra like a dessert or appetizer. It endears me to their restaurant and shows that they are wanting to win me. Look into your own offerings. Give and give some more to provide what is valuable, whether for pain or pleasure.
- Put yourself in your customer’s place. It’s hard to be the buyer because of our narcissism. Be conscience and ask what you would want if you were the customer. Get tangible and put some action or gesture to what you come up with. Feel their pain, not just your own.
- Build bridges. Your customers are always looking for new customers and relationships. Work to bring these. Do it in a thorough way which makes the referral work. Share your network and make the introductions favor a high probability for mutual success for the parties you introduce.
There is always opportunity to show care when we can look beyond self-interest. Your success will depend highly on how much you can grow in this area and be authentic in your care for others. We can all detect selfishness quite accurately. Value today is what is piercing through the noise of gimmicks and hollow marketing. Show some care. The risk is worth it.
How have you shown care that has provided real benefit for your customers?