Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Being Direct In Business Relationships

Like any relationship, business ones can get muddied if neither party is clear about what they want or what they are looking for. That can lead to misunderstanding, frustration or conflict.

Being direct upfront about your expectations or requirements can save a lot of grief later on. Whether you’re having an initial meeting with a client or sounding out a supplier, let them know what you’re looking for and/or ask what they want from the relationship.

Tell them what you want:

‘I’m looking for a new supplier’.

‘I’m looking for a new client’.

‘I want to work with you’

‘I’d love a job with you’

Don’t waste time playing games.

It’s like the approach John Chambers, CEO of Cisco takes to meetings:

Meet Mr Chambers in the flesh, and the small talk lasts for about five seconds, until he asks: “What do you expect from this conversation?” (The Economist Aug 29th)

You might think that’s brash. But at least it’s focused. No room for ambiguity.


John Bardos -JetSetCitizen said...

I just had a salesman come to my door the other day that was blabbing about how he could market my business.

I asked, "What are you selling?"
"This is a great way to get new customers...."
"What are you selling?"
"Another business is .."
"What are you selling?"

People want to buy things from you but they need to know what it is first.

Another related idea is to not be afraid to ask. So many people are afraid to ask for what they really want so they never get it. What is the worst that can happen? They say no. If you don't ask you will get the same result anyway. The funny thing is that people say yes more often than you think.

Ian Sanders said...

Spot on John!

You're dead right. People play games, skirt around the issue and don't have the guts to ask for what they really want. Ask... and you may receive.

Market Research said...

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