I have had an amazing week and one brilliant afternoon sitting here on a fine Friday writing this article. I love my business, my clients and my life and every so often you get those good old “BAD” people trying to get you.
As I have been building my own business, transforming my life and getting to help others I have seen the transition in myself go from a “Guy trying to Survive” to now being driven by helping people. Many of my clients, friends and colleagues I am a mirror of – we are all awesome people who believe in giving first and taking second.
Even though I have been bitten by a few people in business (which is quite normal) – I never get used to liking people that take advantage of anyone. Most people are awesome and great and for myself included – it can create a great deal of stress during the day or over your dining table when people take advantage of you.
Be it abusing your terms, backstabbing or whatever – it is a massive source of stress. Yes, Terms and Conditions are critical – however, while I was Consulting to an $80 Million Dollar Turnover / Year Business Owner he said exactly this:
– “Doesn’t matter what contracts you have, if someone wants out they will just make something up”.
It’s funny that, I am fortunate to have few of these – but in the odd occasion where people take advantage of me I do my best to make sure I not only under-promise and over-delivery, but have a strong email / paper trail to refer back too.
As my awesome $80 Million Turnover fellow pointed out – it’s great to have that, but if someone wants out – they will just make up stuff to get an out.
I speak to many of my friends and clients – and it’s all part of being an Awesome Small Business Owner. Most people are awesome and every now and then you get a rat bag taking advantage of you. Sure, it does hurt – but you get over it and realize that it was them and you can sleep well at night knowing you have done the right thing.
Even though I and many of my awesome clients did everything right, in some cases – I have had some people be nice to me directly, but work behind the scenes quite often to take advantage of me commercially. Be it “Forgetting” key details (which can often be proven by going back to your email trail) or making up “Facts” which didn’t happen – we all agree these people suck!
The question I think is why do they suck? Is putting aside my commentary on “BAD” people – they are really using you in a “Transactional” manner.
That is, you may have someone who is sure “Buying” from you and perhaps paying your bills who doesn’t really care about you – and is all just concerned for what they are getting.
Now of course, I am not saying all of them are bad – but often these type of people lead to the most problems. As they don’t care about you at all, they are the ones more likely to take advantage of you.
Of course all businesses have transactional clients and they may be great – and if you open an Marketing, Sales or even a Business Textbook the first thing they talk about are “Relationships”.
To me this is the awesome pot of gold. Whenever people have taken advantage of me, it’s always the “Transactional” people.
Talking positively, I love “Relationship Clients”. And walking my talk, I treat my suppliers the same way! People I hire, I love them, work hard to refer to them, overlook mistakes, give them flexibility but also demand great quality production and results from them.
Likewise, my clients expect the same from me and I love it! Talking more the Awesome 4Networking Business Community as well – our creed is:
– Meet, Like, Know and Trust.
To me, this is the base of any awesome working relationship and our culture is about doing business with friends. If I think of people who I know personally that are multi-millionaires all of them think this way.
They know the importance of having your awesome relationship clients. The good news is that it cuts both ways and it’s good for everyone having a relationship. This is something those BAD Transactional people never get and the good news with them? They are usually almost always struggling.
Talking Awesome Relationship People – there are benefits both ways for this type of trading:
[The Client] – You can trust them, they agree to your requests, they work harder, they are personally invested in your future and may even work to refer you business.
[The Supplier] – They stay with you longer, they forgive you, they pay your invoices, they are kinder and may even refer you business.
Provided both parties are up for it, there are maximum benefits for this relationship type of thinking
I know many of you reading this article will think “Derp Edward” and it surprises even me that I have had personal experiences and watch others go through the same thing to the contrary.
Most people are awesome this way, but I think a good 25% chunk of providers don’t think this way – and in my opinion they suck for that.
The wealthy ones are always the relationship ones! To support my argument I will yet again use the “Richard Branson” defence and quoting him on this brilliant article on the “Business Insider Australia”:
“When I started Virgin from a basement in west London, there was no great plan or strategy. I didn’t set out to build a business empire … For me, building a business is all about doing something to be proud of, bringing talented people together and creating something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives.”
You can tell that Richard is a pure relationship type of thinker in how he was thinking about a “real difference to other people’s lives”. Notice how his words weren’t “Charge as much as possible and take advantage of the market”.
My advice and thinking? You will of course have Transactional Clients in your business and some business models are like that. If you are say more in Professional Services though or Services Provider – you may want to do your best to minimize attraction of Transactional Clients and focus on Awesome Relational Clients. This can be through really looking after them, your marketing / image and also letting go clients that take advantage of you and act in a Transactional manner.
Sure, you may lose some money in the long-term – but the moment you replace them with awesome Relational Clients you are set. I am so lucky to have tons of awesome Relational Clients and I am so happy and grateful. Sure, I get burnt every now and then but it makes life just exciting.
Have a great day / night and to awesome Relationships from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor & Business Commentator!