Longevity in Any Relationship Depends on Communication and Accountability

Business Partners

Back when I was working as a graphic designer in my studio, I used to get sales reps dropping in to sell me their services on a regular basis. Most of them I’d see once or twice and then they disappeared.

All except one. His name was Alistar, and he represented a large printing company. The first time he came by was just to introduce himself, and that was all, just to let me know who he was and who he represented and to set up a lunch date. I told him that I had printers I deal with and that loyalty to my suppliers was something I valued highly. He said that was OK and that he admired that, nevertheless he still wanted to take me to lunch.

In advertising and graphics, you never pass up a lunch date. So Alistair took me to an up-market restaurant and during lunch he never once pitched me for my business. It was like lunching with an old mate.

The following month he came by again and took me to lunch once more and again he said little if anything about his company and concentrated the conversation about me and my business. Several weeks later he again called and took me to lunch. This time, we talked a little about his business and the services it provided, the values they held and about their customer relationships. Again he did not pitch to me. By this time he was becoming like a mate. I enjoyed our lunch dates and each time we went to lunch he insisted on paying.

A few weeks later I had a problem with one of the jobs I’d been working on for weeks and which was way behind schedule. I needed to get it printed in an incredibly short time, or I would lose the account. I called my regular printer which I’d been using exclusively for many years and explained that the situation required the job to be printed over the weekend. He was sympathetic but said he couldn’t help. He was going on a fishing trip with his mates. I told him of the gravity of the situation, but it made no difference. He couldn’t do it.

Totally disappointed with my printer of 7 years, the printer who gained hundreds of thousand’s of $s worth of work from me couldn’t help me salvage one of my main accounts. Desperately trying to find a printer who would print the job over the weekend I hadn’t even considered Alistair until he called to ask me out to lunch.

It wouldn’t be too difficult to guess what the main topic of conversation was during lunch or who printed my job that weekend. Alistair and his company became my new printer, and he still took me to lunch every few weeks and did so during the whole time until I sold my business. The new owner retained the services of Alistair’s company on my recommendation and as I moved interstate I didn’t have much to do with Alistair except to get a Christmas card for a few years afterwards.

This story reminded me how well Alistair built our relationship and how he kept it alive through dedicated attention to it. It also highlighted to me that most men exercise more tact and finesse in dealing with a potential big spending business partner than dealing with a potential life partner.

Now, I didn’t know much about Alistair‘s private life or his relationship with his life partner. I do know that he was superb at wooing new clients and then continuing to keep them happy because he knew that if he was to get complacent and take the relationship for granted, that the chances of losing the client increased. Somehow I think Alistair was and probably still is equally as good in managing his personal relationship with his life partner.

Businessmen spend large sums of money on customer/client relations training, they go to extraordinary lengths to secure a new client and then devote a lot of time and effort to keep that client happy. It’s how they go about ensuring their client will never want to leave them.

So why is it that many men hardly ever apply any of that training to their personal relationships?

One thing that drives business relationship longevity is the constant payoff for performance. The reason why businesses pay so much attention to the faultless delivery of services/products is that it ensures the monthly pay cheque. Poor performance always ensures the client will seek others who will provide the services by the client’s expectations.

So why is it that so many men neglect to apply the same rigorous attention to their personal relationships as they do to their business?

Perhaps it’s because, in business, relationships are based on contracts, which outline performance and KPIs and which both parties follow and use to resolve conflicts in performance.

Personal relationships could do with a bit more accountability achieved through better communication.

To learn how you could do that, simply start with a 45 minute Complimentary Clarity Conversation that can help you clear up any confusion, eliminate doubt and allow you to set new a direction. Book your Clarity Conversation today: http://the-ex-periencedbachelor.com/clarity-conversation/