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Beat The Short Term Relationship Trend

Date - 05 July 2016/ Category - Personal Lessons
Personal lessons

As human beings we love the idea that friends and clients are for life. I’ve got news for you, if you have any aspirations then they aren’t. The sooner you accept that friends come and go the better.

You’re going to think this is a negative point of view but it’s not. It’s just a result of the world we have built for us.

With faster communication you would think that we have more opportunity to speak to those around us, but in fact we’ve actually given us a faster way to meet more people.

This is great for lead generation, but not so great for maintaining client numbers. In the fast paced modern world in order to grow we need to keep our new client numbers high and our old clients leaving low. That means unless you can continue to grow the rate of new sales, your client numbers will plateau.

It wasn’t always this way.

One hundred years ago people were born in a town. They went to school with a few kids, got a job with the same few kids, married one of the same few kids and spent the rest of their lives with those same kids.

In fact they pretty much spent their whole lives with the same people, in the same jobs and had the same priorities. It was brilliant for keeping divorce rates low and inbreeding high.
In business it pretty much meant once you had met a client, they were a client for life.

Today we’re born in one town and go to school in another. We go to university at the other end of the country and spend a year travelling the world. We work in the big city with people from other countries and at a moment’s notice hurtle down a career path chosen for us by the employer we’ve been with for the past 6 months.

Our lives, worlds and influences are for ever changing. Divorce rates are high and our friends change.

In business it means one day we want to deal with someone by email, the next we want to talk to a UK call centre. Our preferences change as much as our clothes.

We can barely keep up with our own lives let alone those of others and relationships are brief these days as a result.

So how can we explain the brevity of our relationships to others?

An easy way to think about our own life is like a single rail on a railway track.

At times we attract other tracks that run alongside us. These tracks become our friends. Sometimes we meet a track that’s particularly close and end up in a relationship.

This doesn’t mean they are doing the same thing as us, but in general they have the same direction in life – a parallel line to our own.

As external influences pop up, our tracks can start to move apart and so do friendships (and clients) as a result. This is in part the reason for rising divorce rates; we simply have more opportunity to have less in common.

When we get married our tracks are aligned but over time they start heading in different directions and our marriages become strained. Usually the only solution is for one track or both tracks to concede some of their direction in order to bring them back together.

Something similar happens with client relationships, as we begin to move apart, one side (usually us) starts giving away concessions (discounts or other incentives) to try and bring them back together.

On the other hand, other lines might get in between you, like someone that you work with who might seem to be going in your direction but without the hassle of distance. It doesn’t mean that the other friend or track isn’t friend, they just become obscured and less important for a while.

In business it can mean that you never have to do anything wrong to fall out of favour – this is probably the hardest one to deal with because more often than not a client will tell you they are happy right up until the moment they jump ship.

There is however an alternative to this, what if someone had no track. What if someone were to jump onto your track? You see this all the time too, where one person in a relationship has no ambition, or chooses despite their potential to stay at home and support the other.

This only tends to really exist in the big brand world, where a client will follow a brand e.g. apple, anywhere they go.

This removes the threat of tracks moving apart and can form the basis of a stable relationship, especially where the other partner’s track is prone to jumping around.

Chapter Summary:

• To keep growing you’ll need to minimise the amount of clients that leave
• To keep growing you’ll need to keep increasing the number of leads and sales you make
• It’s getting easier for clients to leave you
• It’s easy to spot unhappy clients but hard to spot the ones that jump ship for no reason

Read our next blog post “You’re not a machine”.