Here’s something threateningly bizarre I came across from a ‘Lifestyle’ section of an English broadsheet a while back. Whilst I can in no way condone the book this was supposedly taken from, the concept intrigued me linked with how to handle yourself as an incumbent. Specifically, how you can protect yourself from marauding competition.
There is apparently a list of seven questions that you can ask yourself when about to ‘take the plunge’. Here they are.
Do I want to share the rest of my life with this person?
Does our love give me energy and strength or does it drain me?
Do I respect this person?
Do I accept this person as they are? (And not how I would like them to be!)
Are we able to admit our mistakes, apologise and forgive one another?
Do we have interests in common as a foundation for friendship?
Have we weathered all seasons and a variety of situations together?
If you answer ‘no’ to any of them, then perhaps you should think again. So goes this theory.
I wondered what questions a prospect might be prompted to ask themselves before making a significant commitment to a long-term partnership? Maybe more tellingly, if you had such markers in mind, how would you stack up against them in a year or two’s time, especially when ‘renewal’ rears its dark forces?
You can adapt a couple of the above questions. You’d want to think you bring energy into their business, right? Then there’s the genuine interest you should demonstrate having in their fortunes. You’d need to show some confidence from prior similar success too. A proper procedure to handle issues so that they get both acknowledged and resolved wouldn’t go amiss either.
There’s also a couple of extra topics too. How have you minimised risk or made any eventual exit relatively painless? Which performance measurement yardsticks are being reported on and how regularly?
Put these in direct and personal language like the seven above, talk them through with your prospect, and you could well be onto a winner.
While we’re on the general subject of long-term relationships – and general indifference to the current ‘global’ event but pleasure in the extended extra holiday it provides – here’s another seven question item, this time from the heartbeat of middle England, the Daily Mail. Whilst the more physical trio of their points are perhaps not advisable to pursue with clients, adaptations of the remaining quartet may well provide winning inspiration for that next account review meeting clientside:
- Recognise demon dialogues
- Find the raw spots
- Re-visit a rocky moment
- Learn to forgive