Sorry, But We Can’t Be Friends

avatar“Build a relationship with your potential customers. You need them to feel that they ‘know, like and trust’ you”.

Well, yes. It’s okay as far as it goes.

But the kind of relationship you want with a customer (and they want with you) isn’t a friendship. It needs to be friendly, certainly, but if money is going to change hands – and you’d better hope that it will – friendly is as far as it should go.

Sometimes, it is possible to be friends and have a customer/supplier relationship as well, but it’s not easy. One will very often spoil the other.

If you’re a professional, maintaining a professional relationship with your customers is vital. Making it friendly is very nice, but keeping it respectful is much more important.

If you want people to respect you and pay you, be professional.

If you want to have friendly chats and do them favours, be friends.

Actually, there’s another reason why friends don’t often make the best clients – they’re probably hiring you for all the wrong reasons. I’ll talk more about that another time.

In case you’re getting the wrong idea, I really am quite friendly by nature. I’m certainly not the kind of person who makes a point of upsetting people or making things difficult for anyone, least of all my clients.

But I am professional, I promise you that.