Anna Czerwińska

Account Director

Does my client love me?

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince

As the Beatles used to sing, „All you need is love”. However, are these words appropriate in a business world? What is the deal with relationships between companies and their clients?

Although, when someone says ‘business’, the first associations that probably pop into your head are Excel spreadsheets, , cold-bloodedness and a lot of formalities. These impressions, as a matter of fact, don’t translate into practice. Even if at the beginning of the cooperation, entrepreneurs take into consideration each other’s references and previous projects, afterwards, their relationship is based on the effort they put in order to achieve the same goal. They function like a long-term marriage.

Fundamentals of True Love

Perceiving business relationships through the lens of love helps one think outside the box. e-point is not interested in ‘one-night stand’ projects but prefers a long-term cooperation. Therefore, we value a few principles that turned out to be essential steps while strengthening ties with clients.

Engagement

Negotiations between companies can be compared to the falling-in-love stage – a company as well as a client do their best to make a good impression. Although, both parties tend to exaggerate some of their accomplishments, the excitement is rising at the thought of working together. However, when love is in the air, we should not forget one thing. Namely, at the beginning every relationship is very fragile.

Then, the time of signing the agreement comes. In other words, our relationship is finally formalized, and therefore, we start to lay foundations. This stage is important and full engagement as well good intentions play here a crucial role. Both parties need to make a contribution. Otherwise, the building process would be a total disaster.

What is actually hidden behind ‘doing one’s best’? Obviously, listening to each other, a quick response and then putting words into action. There is one thing that cannot be forgotten during this process. Everyone likes to be appreciated. A compliment a day keeps a doctor away.

Self-reflection

Well-thought ideas should be your must-have while contacting a client for the first time. e-point doesn’t take part in every tender. In fact, we always consider the needs of our potential clients and whether we are fulfill them. Likewise, two people should get to know each other before they commit to relationship ot. The same goes with two companies with diverse expectations when it comes to, for example, a salary or an amount of work. Therefore, it will not cost much effort to think twice before signing an agreement.

Communication

As far as business or any other relationships are concerned, communication skills rule the roost. Listening to what your partner has to say, and more importantly, how he or she says it, is vital to spending together your whole life. Business could not exist without people. They create rules, agreements and regulations – a firm is just an abstract term. Some companies, for example, allow to bring a pet to work or wear a Hawaiian shirt. And in others, wearing a colorful tie is forbidden. The customs and habits of a company translate into a language used by its members.

The form of communication has an impact on business relationships as well – you can criticize and insult or compliment and support. In fact, no response is also a response. Thus, it is extremely important to master communication skills and present our empathy, understanding both the form and the content of a message.

The biggest mistake when it comes to communication is waiting for our business partner to guess what we have in our minds, as if he or she had a crystal ball. e-point is a company that values honesty and doesn’t have any problems with answering or asking questions. In case of any delays or other uncomfortable issues, we immediately inform our clients. As in every relationship, partners prefer to be surprised only by pleasant situations.

Trust

Trust is a foundation of every successful relationship. Especially in IT projects, where companies are strongly connected with each other. IT solutions are supposed to support the business process, and thus, it requires a solid understanding. There is no room for surprises. .

Nowadays, creating online solutions requires an enormous amount of knowledge and a great experience. Therefore, clients need to trust their contractors. Although, a client has a final word and decides whether he or she trusts us or not, we, as contractors, are expected to explain our approach.

If there is a trust, there is supposed to be a sense of security. A reliable business partner relieves us of a burden. As clients, we don’t need to know everything but we should be certain that our contractor is a fair player.

Challenges

Every long-term relationship needs to overcome boundaries and deal with many challenges.

Boredom

Undoubtedly, it is not easy to avoid boredom in a long-term relationship. Marriages often limit their conversations to simple announcements or a quick exchange of information, and companies – to issuing an invoice once a month. Subsequently, a partner can start to look for something more exciting. In order to skip this stage in a relationship, we should pay more attention to our partner’s needs. e-point always tries to prepare a plan for every client for at least a half a year. We look for the optimal solutions together, introduce some innovations to our projects, and moreover, inspire each other.

Envy

It is one of the most destructive feeling in every relationship. It seems that envy does not occur in a business world. Nevertheless, the reality is slightly different. Losing a long-awaited tender, which we hoped to win, can cause a silent treatment and both sides need some time to process that. Eventually, someone will break the silence. There is nothing to do but face the defeat and try to do better next time.

The only right solution

A big contract in the IT sector connects people even more than tying the knot or a mortgage credit. However, signing an agreement or getting married is not enough to make a relationship last. Without honesty, communication and open-mindedness it will simply fizzle out. And what is it, when people take care of each other and have each other’s back? It is love, actually!