What A Glass Of Water Can Teach Us About Client Relations

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Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded there.

In my 11 years in Singapore, I have seen a large number of food establishments start and shut. On my quest for good food, the first things I look for is good service. Good service is all about client relations. 

Watered down service

Up till 6 years back, I’d go to a restaurant and the first thing the wait staff would do would be to offer me a glass of water.

As simple as it sounds, that glass of water went a long way. It made me feel at ease, almost at home. And allowed me the luxury of time to order a nice meal while sipping on the good stuff.

Fast forward to the present. Increasingly, I see that you get seated and then offered the menu and wine list almost immediately, wait staff hovering around to take that order asap. Water is rarely, and most often never offered.

To make a sale, focus on client relations

The point I’m trying to get here is simple—sticking to the basics. Coming from the client facing side, it’s very easy for us to get carried away and literally dump all the product information on our clients hoping to make a sale.

I have been guilty of this in the past. Think about it. The glass of water in this situation would be an analogy for taking a moment to make our clients feel comfortable, almost making them feel at home before we proceed to talk business. Ask questions like how was their day, what did they eat for lunch, how their kids are or when they moved to Singapore. Get to know them as people and focus on making them feel at ease. 

What next?

There’s been a massive shift in the marketing space. It’s no longer just about how great your product is and what it can do for your client’s marketing plans. It’s beyond that. Building relationships goes a long way.

And like Steve Jobs spoke about “connecting the dots” in his Stanford commencement speech, “you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”. In this digital age, people switch jobs frequently. In 5-10 years from now, you never know how the dots might connect. That glass of water might mean a lot more than it appears to be.

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