03 Sep Four Strategies for Developing Healthy Client Relationships – Neutralizing the Tactic, Not Your client
Article by Rob Mosley of Next Level Mastery
Part 3 of 4: Developing Healthy Client Relationships
During the last few weeks I have shared with you two strategies for developing healthy client relationships. In part 1 of 4 we reviewed sharing insight with clients focusing on “information beyond the obvious”. In part 2 of 4 the emphasis was on securing relationships with in an organization at multiple levels.
In part 3 of 4 in this series let’s concentrate on neutralizing the tactic, not your client. It is important to understand that your clients may not regard their behavior as tactical.
Key Strategy #3: Recognize Client Tactics
Prospects and clients can get very tactical, especially in challenging economic times. Tactics are often used to influence your perception of your negotiating position. Because we are sensitive to client acceptance, we tend to take at face value statements that might indicate a lack of acceptance. So when the client says, “Your fees are too high”, we may immediately interpret that to mean that we need to lower our fees. But “Your fees are too high” may simply be a tactic from Negotiating 101. It’s simple to use and usually gets good results.
When you recognize a tactic as a tactic, its effectiveness is greatly reduced. It’s a bit like when you were a kid and thought there was a monster in the closet, until your mom got your flashlight, shined it into the closet, and you saw for yourself that there was nothing to be afraid of. When you see tactics for what they are—tactics—they are not so scary.
It is important to understand that your clients may not regard their behavior as tactical. Not all tactics are well planned or elements of some sort of larger strategy. Your clients may not regard their behavior as tactical. They may not even recognize that they are using tactics. They may simply be making an effort to protect their own interests or meet their own needs by acting out of instinct or intuition. Recognizing it for what it is—a tactic—diminishes its effect.
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The article is derived in part from the thinking of Randall Murphy and the Acclivus Corporation and their curriculum entitled R3 Negotiations customized specifically for the search and staffing industry. This program is offered in a partnership with Next Level Exchange.
For more information on R3 Negotiations, Executive Search Best Practices, Client Development, Leadership and Management Best Practices workshops Contact Rob Mosley’s Client Service Manager, Ita Harris, direct 214.556.8018