May 26, 2018

I am your partner

Originally published on the Phacient Blog by Patrick Healy here

 

PartnerI wrote a post back in February about customer service and how important it was to respect and value your customers. I wrote it for a few reasons but the biggest one was that I had been witnessing really poor service on the parts of several business relationships personally and communicated to me by friends and colleagues. The core concept of the post is that business is a two way street and both parties need to understand that or the relationship won’t last long. Today I’ve decided to write something from a different perspective – not of the person who is spending the money but rather the person that is receiving the money. These people go by many names; vendor, salesperson, service provider. Whatever you call these people, if they are approaching business from the long term, they all should want to be referred to as Partner.  Try and read this post from their perspective.

 

I am your partner

I am someone that you should appreciate and hope to develop a relationship with because I don’t just look at you as a dollar sign

I’m not trying to ‘sell’ you,  I want to help you so you will come back

I am not an annoyance, I am someone you should be happy is here and willing to educate you on the market and the things I can do to help

I am also not someone for you to match wits with. This is what I do for a living.

I am also not someone to lie to, disrespect, dismiss, or otherwise treat differently than your own mother

 

I am your partner

I don’t want to be your adversary, that makes things harder for both of us

I have ethics – even if some people in my organization don’t

I follow the rules, ordinances, and laws because I should, not because I have to

I work hard to make you my customer, why would I want to waste those efforts by messing it up now?

I believe in long-term relationships

I want you to see value in your experience with me and it makes me nervous if you don’t

I sometimes feel like I care more about your needs than you do

 

I am your partner

I am a person, not the company I work for

My time is valuable

I do not like my phone calls ignored or my emails unanswered. How do you feel when that is done to you?

I have bills to pay as well. And a family to feed. And a life  – Just like you.

I work hard on my pricing to keep it competitive so please don’t think I am gouging you

I too am entitled to command a healthy margin on my goods and services. That’s how I am able to also be someone’s customer.

I am in business to be in business

 

I am your partner

When you speak, I listen. I want your opinion so I can do my job better. Do you you feel the same way?

I am always happy to answer the phone and take your call. It’s the first step towards great service.

I work hard every day to earn your trust – and I understand that that trust can easily be broken

I am concerned about my reputation. It’s my most important asset.

When your friends come in because they spoke to you, it makes my happy and validates what I do

I know you have a voice. I am listening to everything people say whenever humanly possible. I can’t always hear it all though.

 

I am your partner

I am aware of how important you are to my business. Are you aware of how important my business is to you?

Without you I have no business – that’s why I work so hard at it

You have my respect and gratitude. Do I have yours?

Honesty is a two way street

I am your partner

 

The terms Partner is just what it sounds like. They are tied to you and your success. Whether you define success by positive ROI, happiness with the purchase or the feeling that you were treated fairly, that Partner should feel some sense of responsibility for that. Their success is linked to yours – and yours theirs. Far too often, just as I alluded to the earlier post, a party in the relationship doesn’t value their counterpart. It’s easy to feel sympathy for the customer since the firm they are dealing with has so many more resources at their disposal to combat this while the lone customer is left a prey for the unscrupulous salesperson. In my experience, it happens just about as much from the other side. As I stated, companies need customers more than customers need companies. Just like the Golden Rule says: “He who has the gold makes the rules.”

The fact is, just about every business has both sides of this equation. There are the people who go out and get revenues and there are those that spend them. It’s how business works. It’s very important to remember that an adversarial relationship is not good for anyone. Consumers feel that vendors just want their money and don’t care about their needs at all. If you show me a vendor that feels this way, I will show you a vendor that is on their way out of business. Long term thinking is king, IMO, and I think it’s the long bets that are the big winners. I bet on my clients and I think my partners bet on me. Over the years, I’ve had my share of clients that always want to pay you half or “make it up on the next deal”. These aren’t customers any of us want. If you can afford it, you walk away from them.

Here’s a video in closing that speaks to the subject with humor but there is a point: If you treated people in the real world the way you do your vendors, it just wouldn’t fly. So why do you do it? Because you think you are the only one that matters? They say the customer is always right. I think “they” are just too afraid to walk away from a deal regardless of a toxic situation.

 

 

I’m a big believer of what goes around comes around. Don’t you want what’s coming around your way to be something great?

 

-PH

Comments

  1. Wow, what else can I say but wow! Well said. Thank you Patrick.