When it comes to interpersonal client relationships, it is absolutely beneficial for you to work with not only your goal in mind but with the client’s needs as well. I have just finished reading the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, and among one the essential habits is to think in the mind frame of “win-win” (Habit 4). This habit derives from the idea that the majority of us, either unconsciously or consciously tend to think “win-lose”, meaning that we take the benefits of whatever outcome comes out of a deal or negotiation, and the other side is left with a negative or unresourceful outcome. When you take into account that building a prosperous relationship derives from both sides being mutually beneficial, it will greatly positively alter what a client can do for your business, as well as what you can do for them. Constructing and following this habit is no easy feat, as you will be required to change your mindset that has likely not been altered in such a way before, to really take into consideration that both sides are mutually beneficial is difficult, but the results are rewarding.
Many times in a conversation, we speak in a way that desperately tries the other side to understand us before we attempt to understand them, our intent being to reply to comments and not deeply understanding them. Habit 5 states “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”. When we really focus on understanding another individual’s point of view, it opens a field of empathy and trust, as they know that you are not trying to put your needs ahead of them, but rather thoughtfully seeking what their main argument or point may be. One way to practice this is to simply retell, not rephrase, what important message the client may be trying to communicate. Ask yourself if you truly understood the message, and then, in your own words repeat it to the client. Doing so will build a trustful, empathetic relationship between the two parties.
Following Habit 4, “Think Win-Win”, and Habit 5, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”, will bring tremendous success to those in account management working with direct client relationships. More importantly, these habits are highly applicable to our daily lives with friends, family, and coworkers and can be used by anyone. I would highly recommend purchasing this book, especially now, as these habits can fundamentally change the way you view others and yourself, as it has done exactly that to me.
*Stephen R. Covey, nor the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, are associated with five94’ Marketing Solutions*