Derek Brooks / December 4th, 2018
Have you ever heard the saying, “Never do business with friends.”?
Maybe you’ve even said it yourself, or it’s a rule that you live by.
No matter the case, for some reason doing business with friends can feel like we are giving more than we are getting. Because of that feeling, it can tend to put a strain on the relationships with those friends.
In reality, that feeling is just a trap that we set for ourselves.
I’m sure we all have those friends or acquaintances who are looking for a deal and want to leverage your relationship for their gain.
However, I believe that in most cases, our friends are merely trying to help us out. They need the product that we produce, so they ask us to help them with it. We’ll see to it to create whatever it is that our friend needs, but then for some reason, we feel like we need to treat them differently than our regular customers.
“Different” can mean a lot of things.
Maybe we think that because it’s for a friend, we aren’t going to charge them full price (or maybe not charge them at all!). Maybe we decide that this can be done without a work ticket since it’s for our friend, or maybe we’ll deliver the finished product even though we don’t deliver products to anyone else.
That’s where things can go wrong.
Remember that “trap” that I mentioned earlier?
It resembles this saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
When we try to help people, sometimes it just seems like everything backfires. But, this is all caused by poor communication or setting false expectations.
We are the reason that we think we shouldn’t do business with friends;
it’s not the friend’s fault.
Here’s my point: It is totally fine to do business with friends.
You just need to treat them like every other customer that loves you and your company.
Even if it’s your best friend in the world that you have known since the third grade, don’t skip your standard production steps! Have them call the main number, or email, or use your website, whatever the process you have to get an order placed in your organization. You already have a great system in place to take care of customers, and they love you enough to keep coming back, so why would you treat your friends any different?
I used to believe that doing business with friends was a no-no as well.
However, if I stopped doing business with friends today,
I wouldn’t have any business at all!
I believe that doing business with friends has helped our company increase the overall quality of the products that we produce.
If I am treating my friends like all my other customers, they are getting the best product that we can muster up already, but my closest friends will tell me if there is a problem and give me a chance to improve my systems for future business with them and all my other customers.
Just last week, one of my best friends, who happens to be one of my largest customers, called for me and had to wait on hold for a minute or so. When I answered, he was quick to tell me that I needed to lower the volume of my on-hold messaging because it was startlingly loud.
We’ve been using the same messaging from Marketing Ideas for Printers for months, but no one had ever mentioned this before. So, I put myself on hold to discover that he was correct. I went into my system and turned the volume down, and I’m sure everyone else appreciates it too. This was the result of a good friend’s honesty.
Remember, people (including you) buy from people. And usually, we buy from people that we know, like, and trust. Try doing business with friends, but be sure to check all of the boxes right out of the gate!