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Wiego Bergsma

Unequal business relationships

I strongly believe that the relationship between you and your customers should be based on equality. Customers who feel superior for no other reason than the fact that they pay in money and you pay in time are a problem to me. They are a problem because this inevitably leads to a condescending attitude.

Such an attitude is bad when it only concerns you, but when you are working with a team it is far worse. It sucks all the passion and creativity from your team.

I am not a big fan of elaborate "Rules of Conduct" as these always strike me as Maoism and result in the same problem, but since one particular customer I do have a strict rule about customers who feel this way.

I do not want them or their business because there is not enough money in the world to compensate me for the damage they cause.

Unfortunately, I also see a lot of young people who are just starting out fall victem to this type of customer. I always advice them to invest their time in customers who they actually want to work with. It is a simple rule that will save you more than they could ever spend.

You can say "no" to customers (it makes business sense to do so and feels great).

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