Getting ahead and building your reputation is hard if you give your customers marshmallows when they really care about toast.
Clients, bosses and all types of customers can care about different things.
They may care about performance indicators (something external to them).
They may want to be listened to or have their opinions validated (a value, internal to them).
Find out what they care about, and give it to them. Or stop them losing it. In either case you’ll have a loyal ally.
Ignore what your customer cares about and your life will that much harder.
Karen cares about looking great in front of her boss. If Karen is your client, then show her how you can make her look good or stop her looking bad.
Will cares about sales volumes. If Will is your client, then show him how you can help improve sales volumes (or how you can stop them dropping).
Andrew cares about feeling loved. He will do anything for anyone who makes him feel loved. If Andrew is your client, then make sure he feels loved. Leave him a voicemail saying hi for no reason. Bring him a coffee without asking. Send him a postcard when you’re on holiday. For more on this, read David Maister’s Trusted Advisor.
And of course what’s important to you is important too. Do you know what it is?