November & December theme:
“Choose One Thing”
Posted in :  Choose One Thing

This post is part three of a six-part series titled, “Choose One Thing” publishing in November and December 2013. If you’re like most businesses we know, you have that “one thing” from the past year that is still hanging in the air — it’s the one priority that, among all the others, would make the biggest impact on your business if it were fully realized. It could be competing in a new space or gaining more business from current customers. During this six-part series we’ll share the most common challenges we see among clients. If one of them is yours, let’s talk. We can help you turn your one big challenge into your biggest success for 2014.

Fathom thinks about relationships a lot. What we have learned, and what we help our clients to see, is that whether the relationship is between brands and people, companies and their communities, employees and employers, or businesses and other businesses, the value of the relationship is directly related to its depth.

If your “one thing” in 2014 is to strengthen your current client relationships then start by examining what those relationships look like and how they can evolve.

If they begin and end with a transaction then that is probably all you’ll get in return (and you are vulnerable to the next shiny solution that comes on the market.) If you put up with each other out of convenience – you know, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t – then don’t expect them to go out on a limb for you.

Productive, generative relationships, ones where you are helping create each others’ future and are actively supporting each others’ success, only exist where there is trust and understanding. Initiate honest conversations about values, hopes and dreams, troubles and fears. Explore how to extend your interactions beyond the transaction and toward collaboration.

These kinds of conversations do not always come naturally in business. They have a fair amount of vulnerability built in and if there’s one thing we are conditioned to avoid in business, it’s being vulnerable. But when you deepen your customer relationships, our experience shows that the possibilities you uncover can change the trajectory of your business.

Other posts in the “Choose One Thing” series can be found here.

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Posted by: Bruce Kaechele
Email the author: brucek@fathom.net