Home » General » How to Ruin a Relationship

It’s hard not to like country music. Even if you are not fanatical about it there is a high chance that if a song plays you will find your foot tapping along. It is not about the catchiness of the rhythm but more about you identifying with the emotion of the song.

The lyrics, the story, the feel, all resonate with you. You relate and we all thrive on relationships. Relationship is valuable in our personal lives and in our business.

Seeing as relationships are so key let me share with you how you can ruin them. Get invited to a friend’s house for lunch, pitch up, don’t take anything with you for your host, eat as much as you can, leave as soon as the meal is over, do not offer to do the dishes then wait to get invited back.

You will probably have to wait for a very long time. Being a selfish grabber of everything ruins relationships.

In a business set-up if you offer your client the barest minimum, with no follow-up, no sign that you care, offering a substandard product for a high price, you are just as good as that guest that no one want to have around for lunch.

How many times do you bump into someone in the street and promise to grab a coffee sometime but never bother to call them?

In a moment of brotherly affection you promise that you will be there for a friend “no matter what”, then when they call you because their vehicle has broken down and they are stranded you find an excuse not to help.

Promising and never delivering makes you untrustworthy. Having a returns policy on your product and then finding every excuse to avoid exchanging a faulty product destroys relationships with your client.

We all have different levels of relationships there are those people we will engage in polite conversation with if we meet them, there are those we will call periodically to find out how they are doing, and there are those we will go to hell and back for. Yet despite all these levels, and there is nothing wrong with the levels, there is a common underlying set of values that governs our relationships.

There is a trust that if violated when we break even the simplest bond. It is common in business to have perks for clients who are considered high value.

Special banking malls, access to discounts, invitations to the end of year party are all things that we do for the high rollers.

At the other end of the spectrum we all expect to be treated the same at a basic level. We all want you to value our time, fulfil your word to us, and give what you promised. Inconsistency is a relationship killer.

Remember fuel queues? Remember those that jumped the queue and how you felt about them.

That is the pain when there is inconsistency at the basic level where you discriminate on something other than what you offered in a deal and we find out about it.

Likewise we often sideline fair-weather friends, people that are only there for when things are going well and never around when we are struggling and can’t pay for the entire round of drinks. Inconsistent service is being fair-weather in your business.

The waiter who treats me differently each time because I didn’t tip as much the previous visit wrecks what could be a long and profitable relationship.

Failing to maintain an aertised product line, variable shipping times, poor quality control, are not attractive or beneficial to a client relationship.

Have you a birthday hogger in your office?

This is the person who in less than subtle tones reminds everyone that it is their birthday – a month before it comes round.

They place pictures of gifts they want in their cubicle and on P interest, they expect a party and cake but never consider hosting their own celebration.

And, most importantly, they never remember or share in anyone else’s. Loud mouth aertising with no delivery is not going to bring you business relations.

Value systems on walls that are not lived out, deals with hidden restrictions in the small print are like the birthday broadcaster – all thunder and no lightening.

The fastest way to break solid ties with your best friend is to steal his girlfriend. In some way we are in competition for clients.

That is a given in business. If you are going to “steal” clients from an associate have the decency to do it on something other than just price be better skilled, have a better service, build a better relationship.

Do it without badmouthing other companies, or pointing out the faults in their behaviour. Just get on and do it better.

Better still, find a market that is untapped and dip into that pool for people to transact with. Show you care and watch the magic happen.

Source : The Herald