The relationship between a provider and a client is always worth a lot of attention. The two characters should not necessarily be friends or like each other too much. Instead, they are supposed to maintain a good professional relationship. Both parts should respect and trust each other. There are a few different ways to earn respect. Most of them are related to the service you provide.
How I earned respect in front of a past client
Years ago, while I was young and wild, I used to be a salesperson for an Internet service provider. I had a few special offers in my sleeve, since my client was quite rough during the negotiations. Anyway, in the end, we have managed to get to a common point. He accepted my deal, while I was ready to come up with the contract. We scheduled a next meeting for his “autograph”. I was invited to his office. Since I am always punctual, I got there about 10 minutes earlier and announced my arrival at the reception. Half an hour later, I reached to the receptionist in order to make sure that my arrival was announced. She confirmed it.
About 10 more minutes later, without any words from my potential client, I wrote a small note and left it to the receptionist. I told her that my message included an apology for leaving, but I had to reach to a different client. Therefore, I hoped that this meeting could be rescheduled. It took me half an hour to get back to the office. By the time I got there, I had a voice mail message, as well as email message with apologies from my potential client. He also asked me to reschedule the meeting soon.
The truth is that I lied. I bluffed. I had no other meeting. Instead, I went back straight to the office. I could have waited hours, but I did not want to. I felt that I could get on the winning side if I left, so I did it.
Obviously, such an idea implies a pretty high risk too. In my case, it worked. Next time, it may no longer work. Anyway, the next meeting began with a series of apologies, while things worked out well.
How to earn respect as a service provider
First of all, the customer is always right. Second of all, you do not have to be a slave.
- Being oriented toward the client does not ask for slavery or obedience. Make sure that you are perceived as an actual professional.
- Adapt your behaviour according to your client’s character.