A while back I had to tell a vendor of ours that we were no longer going to work with them. My whole team had become increasingly irritated at the owner’s know-it-all attitude, insults, and reluctance to listen to us. The funny thing is, they did a decent job on their core service, but everything else they worked on for us was a headache, to say the least. And when we would try and talk to the owner about his company’s poor performance, he always had an excuse and blamed us, pointed out their expertise and arrogantly assumed we did not have any experts on our staff. He had gotten cocky and thought we’d never go anywhere else for the services he provided. He was wrong.
The client is always the boss and they will show their authority by taking their business elsewhere. It is incredibly hard to get someone’s business back once it’s lost. Don’t believe me? Have you worked with a stockbroker or money manager who lost money for you? Did you or would you ever go back? Especially in situations where the vendor or service provider doesn’t listen. Unfortunately, this vendor we used to work with continues to try and tell us how stupid we are for not doing business with them and pointing out all the deficiencies of the new provider we work with. (Thank goodness for the delete button.) Now, do you think that’s going to help them?
This week, reflect a little bit on how you’re doing business and make sure you’re listening to your clients. Don’t get complacent, arrogant, or cocky; those who do rarely win.