The Bold Businessman often used to boast to his friends that he knew the secret of how to get to the top: hard work.
‘And good connections,’ he’d add, with a knowing wink.
Sure enough, as he worked day and night to build his small business into a large one, he never forgot to give his clients the best service imaginable. He was always there on the end on the phone, would never fail to go the extra mile and went about his business with good humour and wisdom. Every month or so, he took out the buyers of all the businesses he serviced and entertained them lavishly and built good working relationships.
The hard work paid off and the Bold Businessman became rich and successful. He decided he would kick-back a little and enjoy the fruits of his labour. After all, he was running an established business.
One day, the buyer at one of his main clients retired. The Bold Businessman took him out for a goodbye meal to thank him for all his business.
‘I’ll introduce you to my replacement,’ the old buyer said. ‘Or, better still, get a date in her diary for you to meet her. The other suppliers are already queuing up, so you’ll be ahead of the curve.’
‘Oh, don’t worry about me,’ the Bold Businessman said dismissively. ‘I’ll get there sooner or later. Besides, your store already knows us very well and has been happily buying my products for years.’
The old buyer frowned, but didn’t say anything.
Eventually, it was the New Buyer herself who called to make an appointment to meet the Bold Businessman. She’d waited long enough.
The Bold Businessman decided he would impress his new client and show how important he was. He hired a helicopter to take him to the meeting.
Rather than be impressed with the man's success, the New Buyer thought the Bold Businessman showy and arrogant. He was clearly making far too much money if he could afford to travel everywhere in a helicopter.
The New Buyer decided she either needed much lower prices from the man, or one of the other suppliers would get the business.
Nurture each new relationship as though it was your first. Past glories count for little.