I have an expression that I like to tell my clients:
People like to do business with businesses they like.
It’s basic, however it seems to be easily overlooked in a day and age where we become more and more disconnected from personal connections.
A business is made up of individuals, and the expression of the business is a reflection of those individuals.
The business decisions we make every day have an impact on people and those impacts, either positive or negative, result in the likability of a business. One of they key components to ensuring like-ability is consistency. What I mean by that is, are we consistent in the way we treat people? Do you treat your clients well and your staff poorly? If so, you will create a culture that tip toes around what could be teachable moments, which results in very few positive outcomes. This will bleed out into client and business interactions.
There’s a very simple rule to abide by – the golden rule.
Treat others as you would like to be treated. Succeed at this and you will have a likeable business.
No, it doesn’t mean you must give things away, provide discounts, although that can be a component of your strategy. What it means is that your treat clients fairly. You produce what you promise. You look out for your clients best interest, which sometimes means going above and beyond the scope you set out. When you have a long term service strategy, the short term inconveniences become very easy to swallow for the sake of client satisfaction.
We all need to make decisions that clients don’t like, usually something like a price increase. However, if we are up front and honest with hard decisions, we’re in a much better position to manage expectations and the outcome thereof.
The main thing to keep in mind is that we cannot be all things to all people.
Work to be likeable within your ideal customer base and be conscious to not alienate others that might not fit your ideal client model.