In business, much of our time is devoted to maintaining and growing our client/customer base. It’s essential to any company’s long-term prosperity. But managing the clients we already have is just as critical. And in those cases, it is more important that you are followed, rather than being right.
Let Them Decide to Follow You
I’m not saying be wrong. I am saying show your math with regard to your ideas. So much so that your client/clients begin to feel as though the idea were theirs not yours. A client never wants to be seen as anything less than your equal, and most times wants to be the smartest one in the room. It is up to you to make them feel that way with your recommendations so that they feel their decision to follow your counsel is the mission-critical step.
Help, Don’t Surpass
There is great quote by the 17th century philosopher, Balthazar Gracien that sums it up:
“Princes loved to be helped, not surpassed. When you counsel someone you should appear to be reminding them of something they’d forgotten, not the light they were unable to see.”
By listening to their goals and challenges you discover what is dear to them and can shape your ideas towards those desires.
Try it and let me know how it goes.