Developing a custodian mindset – Part 2

Last week I explained that there are direct parallels between the way bad tenants behave, and the way bad suppliers behave when they get to the end of the contract and are threatened with losing it.

Damage control is only a last resort, and you don’t want to get to this point when you have an important contract or customer in your care.

In contrast to tenants paying for temporary use of a property, owners of properties often see themselves as custodians.

If you’ve ever watched renovation shows on TV – particularly the ones where someone falls in love with an old manor house and spends an extortionate amount of money conserving it – you’ve seen the custodianship mindset in action.

Every piece of business changes hands at some point. Whether into your new and improved hands, or someone else’s, is really up to you.

As the incumbent supplier, you are either building something or doing something for the customer. Most likely, this is just one of many things they do in their business. Your job is to add to their business and improve it in some way.

When we treat the relationship like a tenancy – when we do the minimum required of us –we’re no better than any other supplier, and it’s unlikely that we will get the opportunity to continue. Our relationship is simply transactional.

When we act like custodians though, it’s easy for the customer to see our investment of time, energy and enthusiasm as a true strategic partnership in their business.

This is an extract from Robyn’s new book Winning Again: a retention game plan for your most important contracts and customers. To order your copy, go to http://www.winningwords.com.au/winning-again/