Thursday, January 7, 2016

I Hate My Client

“If you don’t walk into the client’s building every day, excited about the opportunity to help solve their problems and make them successful, then you should leave this company.”

I had the privilege of leading a sales training program with Paul Rudolph, a former colleague with over 25 years of experience in sales and client service. That was one of his opening lines to a group of experienced employees.

Not new employees. Experienced employees.

Because Paul knew that new employees are not jaded. They are excited. They have great expectations. They are filled with great ideas.

Experienced employees, who have been on a client account for three years or more, are tired. They are frustrated. And if you were to ask what they thought of their job, many might say, “I hate my client.”

Paul’s point was if you’ve reached a point where you don’t understand the purpose of being a service provider, then go do something else. The client is our lifeblood and the essence of our business was striving to take the client’s breath away with our attitude and performance. Every day.

Often, a long-term relationship between an existing client and a service provider can devolve into what feels like a bad marriage: the parties feel stuck with each other, can’t communicate well and wish there was a way out. In other words, the romance is gone.

To be successful in the services business means to be in the romance business. Keep the spark alive, always making the client feel special, important and loved. Because right outside the door is the competition, with a smiling face, joyful heart and readiness to make this relationship feel amazing.

If you don’t treat an old client like a new client, they’ll soon be an old client.