Building and maintaing successful business relationships are very hard. But in my experience I have seen certain rules which we can follow to make it less harder. Here is one of such rule I follow.
In your very first meeting with the client or partner, ask:
- What are they trying to do?
- Why are they trying to do it?
- How are they going to do it?
- What are the results to expect?
After you get the answers to these questions and understood well, you tell them, “This is what you are good at. This is what you are not good at. This is how you work. These are your values. This is the result you expect to deliver”.
Most of the times the client’s reply for me was, “It is very good that you told these in advance; it is very helpful”. I have seen some clients respecting and mentioning my above said points even after a six months into the engagement.
Others are also individuals just like us, with their own quirks. We need to find a way to make these quirks to work together to make the relationship fruitful. These questions will help you understand their quirks and convey them yours. More on this matter, Peter F. Drucker has written very well in his little book Managing Oneself.