Whitney sat stunned after a phone call from one of her top three accounts saying they were asking her to provide new submittals for the insurance policies covering their business. The request took Whitney by surprise despite the fact that the pandemic had lots of clients inquiring about coverage changes and possible premium reductions. The surprise was because this client was someone she had taken excellent care of, gone above and beyond for numerous times, visited personally at least twice a year and socialized with as families. Whitney asked herself, “doesn’t anyone care about the relationship anymore? Is every client just shopping for a lower premium despite all I have done for them?” Whitney was angry, upset and questioning everything she thought about what made business relationships work.
Whitney has every right to feel the way she did after hanging up the phone. Yes, she had a true relationship with this client, but she forgot one essential element as she worked to process the request: she has a business relationship with them. Many salespeople confuse business relationships and personal relationships, and that can create less then ideal expectations for both parties. Whitney believe that the “personal” attention she paid to this account made her immune to the threat of the business owner making a business decision that did not favor her.
Business is not the place to get your emotional needs met. While you can certainly make good friends in the business world, you should never forget the original relationship and primary reason for the relationship is the business issue. The responsibility of every business owner is to always do what is best for his or her business, not make sure everyone he or she has a business relationship with is happy with those decisions. If you are a trusted advisor you may get to help with that decision, but you should never expect preferential treatment. The pandemic has caused many businesses to examine every line of their expenses and decide if they should make a decision to ask for some reductions in fees or premiums, pursue other vendors or just ride things out with the current supplier or service provider. Do not be surprised or angered if you get asked to reconsider the value of the business on a business level.
Have you ever mixed up a friendship with a business relationship? Was your experience a positive one or a negative one?
Final Thought for the Morning:
"A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship/"- unknown
Your Top 3 Goals & Tactics for the Week
LAST WEEK: Update us on how things went last week with your stated Goals and GD Tactics.
THIS WEEK: Please share your Top 3 Goals for this week and the GD tactics you plan to deploy.