One of the most challenging things to do is change the nature of a relationship. Cognitive dissonance is the first thing that springs to mind because once perception is fixed, it is tough to shift that belief.

I worked with a client who realised that her client relationships are transactional and not value-based. She realised that changing the nature of that relationship would be nearly impossible because of its culture and original agreement.

But what is a transactional relationship, and how do you change the way you work with a client? In my view, it is one where you agree to do a specific task for a fixed fee, and the engagement is limited to that. The relationship is not strategic and focused on the outcome you achieve together. You are seen as an expert.

You change the way you work with a client by assessing the value of that relationship. Here are a few questions you could ask:

Does this client represent significant long-term business potential, or what is the lifetime value of this client?
Is this a client you would hate to lose?
Has this client introduced you to similar (high paying) buyers?
Does this client serve as a reference or exemplar for other clients?
It takes courage to discuss changes in your relationships as you may fear jeopardising your existing engagement. Some clients will want to continue as is, and others may be open to having a discussion. You have to assess their value first and decide but be mindful that you might lose some in the process.

If you are interested in learning how to move from transactional to value-based relationships, my Know Your Value program, covers this, and much more, Click here.

Knowing Your Value