In the era of modern business, most of us have become attuned to the notion that our sales tactics need to be less transactional for us to consistently attract qualified customers. No longer can we make everything about how much we get out of a deal. Instead, it must be about how much we can give.
Scores of books, webinars, and podcasts have been created in the last year alone to drive home the notion that businesses are about building relationships, and they are right. But it works both ways.
Are you treating your spouse like an employee or a customer?
Remember how it was in the beginning? All you wanted was for them to know that you were thinking about them. Everything else in your world was just static background noise distracting you from your true prize. Much like after closing a major deal, it seemed as if absolutely nothing else that happened in your life mattered, you already won! And then time happened.
As the certainty seeped into your mind about how much they really were in it with you for the long haul, it no longer became such an accomplishment. You see in relationships; it can become easy to fall into thought patterns that lead you to believe that you own the other person.
Whether you are thinking this subconsciously or not, their love, their devotion, is your power, and overtime you begin to wield it like a new manager after they get their first direct report.
But the truth is, forever is a very long time. It is no longer so taboo for relationships with the deepest of roots to be torn apart by the slow death of complacency and neglect.
Want better for that special person in your life? Want better for yourself? Keep reading?
Keep Learning and Keep You will Keep Earning
The businesses that are the most successful, have the deepest knowledge of who their customers are, what they care about, and how what experiences they long for today, tomorrow, and even years into the future.
While you might think, ha! You know them like nobody else, this can’t be that hard! Hold your houses, this is more complex than you might think.
Remember Borders? RadioShack? Myspace?
Many businesses have relied on the knowledge they had of their customers on the day that they acquired them to last them the entire relationship, this is where things go terribly wrong.
If you want to develop a strong relationship you must continue to find new ways to not only learn about your partner, but to also show interest to keep them engaged.
Just like you have changed throughout your relationship, so have they.
Do they still like the same activities? Is there I side of you they would like to know more about? Is there maybe a side of them that they would like you to know more about?
As you begin to dive into learning about your partner, you will begin to find that your interest will be sparked all over again, and so will your partner’s.
Do You Have to Let Them Control You to Make it Work?
Most of us, both men and women, are constantly facing the internal and external pressure to feel in control of our surroundings. And with the added context of the users and abusers who we run-into throughout our lives, we begin to have this subconscious bias towards keeping the score.
Remember the phrase, “The customer is always right”? We all know that it just is not true, but we reinforce it anyway. You know why? Because the customer always matters.
In most instances, whether you agree with them or not, you want to acknowledge and understand their perspective before ever sharing your own.
When they are being unreasonable or even condescending because of their emotions of the moment, we push past it to get them to explain how we can really support them, and that is when the environment changes.
You are then able to share your thoughts, turn around their attitude, and sometimes even inspire them to apologize for their abrasiveness. An unfortunate circumstance turns into a moment that creates an even stronger bond.
How about when they are being completely outrageous and downright abusive? Again, they are not always right, but they always matter. If you know them to be a good person with good intentions, then why do you think they would act the way that they are?
If there is no talking sense into them, then you have the option to either remove yourself from the conversation or try to guide the conversation back to a constructive place.
Whether you are in a young relationship or one that has matured time, take this message to heart.
Whether it is every week, month, or quarter, take them time to reflect on how your relationship has been going and where you would like it to be.
Take time out of your day to work on understanding more about your partner and sharing things about yourself to keep the engagement going.
Think about the experiences that bring life to the one you care about and find unique ways to provide it.
Like in business, you can also ask your partner how they feel about things to get a better sense of where they are.
Treat your relationship like a business and constantly work towards sustainable growth, whether you need it today or not.
About the Author
Brian is the Founder of Kingman Consulting Group. Brian’s chief expertise is helping business leaders tap into customer insights to build unique experiences that foster brand loyalty and increased profitability. To find more of his content, visit www.kingmanconsulting.com.