Not all relationships are equal

Even if you’re Apple, it’s not about you
Sonia Simone

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.

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