The measure of a good client

 

No nasty surprises

Accidents and reputation

We can send our breakdown recovery service to deal with business accidents. One of the ways of avoiding accidents is by being careful whom we take on as clients, particularly when we provide professional services of one sort or another.

I always think that the quality of relationship we have with a client is very important. I value being on first-name terms with all my clients save those of possibly more advanced years who like the dignity of being addressed more formally. Also I want my clients to speak well of me as I of them.

Establishing rapport

When I first meet a client, as in all first meetings I form an impression, but over the years I have fine-tuned my ability to make assessments of people because I have to deal with them on a professional basis. Not least because this involves money, I want to be able to feel I can trust them and I want them to be comfortable with me also.

If I am not comfortable about a new prospect because perhaps I am not happy they are being truthful in answering the questions I have to ask, I walk away. If I do not think we can have a good relationship and feel the fit between us is not right, I make my excuses and leave. If I think the prospect would make a bad client involving a lot of work for which they would not want to pay, again I will depart as politely and quietly as possible.

Vitriol

It is part of life that there are difficult people out there; people with impossible prejudices we find hard to deal with. Some of the extreme views might come out in an initial meeting, and if someone has other opinions not backed by hard evidence but on hearsay or ignorant belief, that is a bad sign for any hope of a business relationship.

If we want any evidence that there is ignorant prejudice out there we only have to look at the generally anonymous comments even on articles on broadsheet newspaper websites. We do not want that prejudice turned on our businesses and we do not want clients who are trolls and who will come back to haunt us.

Perfect harmony?

I want to be able to like all my clients. How do you vet yours? Do you do it by instinct or does it come with experience? Are you a less sensitive soul than I and do you not need to like your clients?

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