In most cases, to have a truly strong and long lasting relationship with your friends, family or clients, you need to connect with them on an emotional level. One of the easiest emotions to tap into is one’s fears. We all have them. Things that we are afraid of or scare us. I’m sure you thought of one right away just reading this.
Advertisers and politicians are constantly playing on our fears. Advertisers use our fear of humiliation about poor hygiene, not having the cleanest clothes or not driving the right car to sell us all types of products. Politicians use the fear of losing our job or getting attacked by terrorist to get elected and stay in office. In our own businesses, we can use our clients’ fears in a positive way to connect and build a successful long lasting relationship with them.
It makes sense. Think about when you were afraid as a child. Whom did you go to seek comfort? You didn’t go to your local vendor, bank teller or store clerk – the people with whom you had transactions. NO – you turned to those you trusted: your parents, siblings, other family members or your good friends.
In business, there is always going to be a certain amount of fear (or at least worry or concern) involved in every deal. I suggest you take the time to discuss these fears or worries with your clients, and really get them to open up about what scares them or causes them stress. If you listen, and are then able to calm or resolve their fears, you have gone from having a transactional relationship to an emotional relationship with them. You are no longer their agent in a transaction but their trusted adviser who is helping them through a stressful or scary situation. This will foster a stronger and longer lasting relationship with them for the future.
So next time you are having discussions with your clients, don’t be afraid to ask them about their fears or what scares them about the process. Both you and your clients will be happier you did. And remember: “The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.”