“Even if you’re Apple, it’s not about you”
In a healthy personal relationship, each partner is approximately equal. In a healthy business relationship, there is a vast difference in balance.
As a business, if you:
- Listen to the customer far more than you talk
- Give more time and attention to your customer base than they give to you
- Are more considerate of the customer’s needs than they are of you
- Are focussed on delivering to their needs
you will be the perfect partner to your customers. In a personal relationship, this would be less than perfect in most situations.
I was recently involved in a project that involved a large enterprise customer and a well known equipment manufacturer in addition to the service provider that I was representing. The customer had many internal road-blocks that were holding back the ability to deliver, so a three-party problem resolution meeting was held.
The meeting didn’t follow the proposed agenda, but the customer made great head-way in resolving their internal road-blocks, which was a great outcome (in my opinion). I was taken aback when a representative from the equipment manufacturer then stated, “well that’s all great, but what’s in that for me?”
You could say that the customer’s 10-15 representatives were also a bit taken aback. And not at all happy! It was another growth-ring on the tree of mistrust that they felt for this vendor.