As we go through life, pursuing our various agenda, we occasionally lose sight of the fact that we are not at the center of the universe. Yes folks, there are other people out there whose priorities are just as important to them as yours are to you. And the irony is that focusing on their needs almost always brings you closer to fulfilling yours.
Your clients have businesses, families, hobbies, unrealized dreams, and bucket lists. They grope through life, trying to make the best of suboptimal circumstances, sweating the small stuff, wishing they had the right resources to solve their problems (sound familiar?). Sure, you want your clients to continue sending you their business, but as you get to know them, seek to learn about the issues that do not directly pertain to your services.
You won’t have to look far. We human beings love to complain about our problems, especially when in the company of someone who shows a genuine interest. So make it your mission to glean and address as many of your clients’ needs as possible. Your advice and expertise are well and good, but through your network, you have access to everything from outsourced services to potential employees to weekend babysitters. Learn your clients’ pain points (personal and professional) so that the next time you see them, your interaction will be an exchange of needs.