The 9 things it is essential to accomplish for powerful, high-potential business relationships are:
1) Deal exclusively with the true economic buyer (the person who can sign a check) at the outset of a project, and don’t allow yourself to be delegated downward or lost touch.
2) Provide extra value along the way. Don’t take on extra work, but do suggest ideas and improvements based on your professional observations.
3) Move fast. The more quickly the client sees improvement, the better off an happier they will be. Find rapid fire “easy” initial victories to build momentum.
4) Transfer skills to the client to perpetuate gains. This will prevent the collapse that can happen if you’re the only one holding things together.
5) Raise the bar. Don’t just solve the problem. Create improvement over and above the client’s current and satisfactory condition. New levels of performance are where the most dramatic ROI resides.
6) Share credit. Readily provide kudos to client personnel for helping, assisting, improving, and generally ensuring the success of the project.
7) Create new relationships throughout the project duration. Find ways to share information and create varied relationships throughout the organization.
8) Make success visible. Use client media (intranet, newsletters, magazines, etc.) to explain and promote the project’s success and impact.
9) Use the client as a reference base and part of your client list. If others ask your client about you, it keeps your name and past successes in front of your client and frequently in mind.
The best way to learn something is to be forced to teach it.
Richard Sandor, the “forefather of environmental finance,” educates students at Ohio State and shares his journey from college to running his own empire.