Should it matter whether or not you like a client?
Should you be friendly and “buddy-buddy” with your vendors and suppliers?
Is it more important that your business partner is an expert in their field or someone you wouldn’t mind having a beer with?
We all want to do business with people who are knowledgeable, communicate effectively, and are responsible. It’s sound judgement, it makes the most sense, but most of all, it sets us up for success. But another golden rule to follow when working with others in business: work with people you can get along with. Before everyone starts attacking this school of thought, think about the last time you worked for someone else and you had co-workers to contend with. And think of time when you had to work with a co-worker who you couldn’t get along with. How much more challenging was that task or project to complete? How desperate were you to get the task over with? Did you cut corners trying to complete the assignment just so you wouldn’t have to deal with that person? If you didn’t, did you you think about cutting corners?
The point here is working with someone that causes conflict or is unbearable to be around isn’t a conducive environment for business, let alone success. It doesn’t matter if they’re a client of yours, a prospect partner, a supplier or even an investor. You need to be able to get along well enough to get the job done to your professional standard. Your business will have conflicts and chances are, you may disagree at with people from time to time. It happens, but even in a disagreement, you should be able to successfully find common ground to agree to disagree.
Liking the people you do business with and getting along with them are two different aspects. Very much of the time, we consider it one and the same, but you can work well with someone that you’re not all that fond of. You don’t dislike them, they’re just not your cup of tea. And it’s important to recognize the difference between the two. Can you talk to that person when there’s an issue to resolve? Are ideas and suggestions able to be expressed freely? Can both parties negotiate without feeling cheated by the other? Is there open dialogue?
But don’t forget about you. You have to be approachable as well. Your target clientele has to feel you’re someone they’re capable of doing business with, coming to for solutions, be provided with adequate and competent service. Being able to get along builds trust and trust is the foundation for a solid reputation. And in business, your reputation can make or break you.