It turns out, customers are a lot like cats – they are a lot happier when you follow their specific care and feeding instructions.
Everyone has different priorities, different things that they care deeply about. In this episode, we discuss the importance of knowing what makes people tick (and where they like to be scratched).
Why is that important for business?
A “care and feeding manual” clarifies these priorities and helps you address individual needs without worrying about everything. You know where the deal breakers are, but also where the areas of flexibility are. Everyone tries to take good care of clients, but if don’t have a clear understanding of their priorities and what they really care about, you are going to try to do everything well, which is an impossible standard. Using your own filter of what you care about isn’t enough, because we all feel cared for in different ways.
Much like the book The 5 Love Languages (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/), knowing what is important to clients helps them feel the way you want them to feel and deliver work that is good for them. This isn’t a manipulation, but fertilizer – it is the investment the relationship needs to thrive.
This involves establishing trust with your client. However, as Stephen Covey talks about in The Speed of Trust (https://store.franklincovey.com/books-and-audio-360/the-speed-of-trust-book), trust is both a rational and an emotional act. You need to establish both.
Asking clients (or even staff), “how do I screw up this relationship?”, can make all of the difference.
Note: knowing your own priorities is also important.
Different clients and employees need different strategies and care. Care and feeding manuals are not a must, but they make life easier. Think of them as a shortcut to making relationships thrive.
And all it takes is making the invisible visible, so it is a known instead of a guess.
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