I haven’t quoted Seth Godin in almost two months. I think Seth’s one of the smartest guys around, and I encourage you to type “Godin” into the search bar on the right of this page. Real Business Change awaits.

Today, Seth’s put together a treatise on what makes a “Great Client”, and it got me thinking.

Who’s responsible for guiding a business relationship?

If you’re paying the bills, you think it’s you, right? What if you’re paying the bills to a consultant charged with making business change for you (it’s what we do here, for example). Are you still in charge, or does the onus of creating business change fall on me?

I found it beyond fascinating that Mr. Godin made the focus of this piece what makes a Great Client instead of what makes a great service provider. It reminded me of one of those memories-from-the-past that my friends and clients have come to know me for: when I was a kid . . . sixteen years old . . . I worked at a supermarket. And the manager one night said—I’m not kidding—“business would be great if it wasn’t for the customers“.

It’s a constant battle. We hate our customers because they’re demanding, but without them we have no business. Customers hate their service providers / business consultants because . . . well, maybe it’s for the same reason! Even if you use the supermarket example, it holds true: “I’m sorry sir, you didn’t use that coupon properly“. REALLY?

Business Change only happens when everyone involved understands the absolute need for collaboration. And strives toward creating it. Be a Great Client and a Great Provider.

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