By Gail Doby, ASID
CVO and Co-Founder of Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
We all have our favorites clients. They are the ones who truly value our services, heap tons of praise on our designs, and freely refer their friends and associates to us. Others we just click with personally and enjoy being in their company. Some eventually may become good friends.
It’s easy to love those clients. They make us feel good about ourselves and our work. I’d like to suggest you extend those good feelings to ALL of your clients, even the ones who can be dismissive or difficult to work with. That may sound absurd or touchy-feely, but, trust me, there is method to my madness. Loving your clients, even the ones who are hard to like, is good for business.
You probably are familiar with the saying, to get love you have to give love. That holds true for clients as well. When you love your clients and not just tolerate them, you act differently towards them. They, in turn, feel that difference, and they will act differently towards you. The relationship becomes more respectful and mutually satisfying. Both you and the client experience less stress and find it easier to collaborate. You are happier, and your clients are happier. And happier clients lead to more referrals and positive word-of-mouth, which strengthens your brand.
What does it mean to love your client? Think of how a gifted teacher loves their students. In this sense, to love means to respect the other person, to value who they are as an individual, to truly listen to them and consider their welfare, to give them the benefit of the doubt, to want to help them achieve their goals, to be willing to engage emotionally and not just rationally.
Odd as it may sound, you don’t have to like a client to love them. You just have to acknowledge them for who they are, be positive, and do your best for them.
As an added bonus, loving your clients also will make your team happier by making the work environment more positive and constructive. You and your team will be more productive, get greater satisfaction from your work, and lay the groundwork for bringing in more business. You don’t need to change who you are or how you operate. All you need is love.