Are you projecting expectations or creating agreements with your clients?
When I was young I always thought I would be a lawyer.
I was fascinated by how a person could create a contract that protected another person or an asset that they have.
I began studying the English language in college and learned that language was so powerful it could exercise this type of protection in a multitude of ways, without the harsh constraints and high-pressure of law.
Between real people. In real relationships. Not just on paper.
A few years later I found myself in my very first job…
I was in a client relations role and one of my very first assignments in that role was to create partner agreements for joint sales ventures.
What I found is that prior to creating those agreements, both our sales manager and the client had several phone meetings where they’d go back and forth and create ‘handshake’ agreements where one party understood a set of outcomes and the other a similar, yet nuanced, set of outcomes.
Now, I definitely exercise the saying ‘word is bond’ in my personal and professional life.
But the reality is, folks, some people don’t.
They’re also dishonest about what they really want…
But I digress…
After a few confusing client relationships, finally I suggested that we get the two parties together and talk about how we can enter into a mutually beneficial agreement that we were all really clear on.
Though the first meetings were filled with edits to the written agreement, we found that not only were the terms clear on the end of the interaction but both parties also held up their end of the agreement better because they had a hand in creating it.
Steve Chandler says…
“Agreements are co-authored. People are actually more included to keep an agreement that they helped create.”
What does this mean to you?
Meet your clients from a place of agreement. They’ll be willing to work with you on how to create the outcomes you both desire.
The likelihood of them partnering on something with you in the future will rise.