Are your relationships in credit?

I was never convinced about the concept of making sure your relationships are in ‘credit’ but my wife has been banging on about it for years.

Disappointingly she has been proved right (again) and it would seem I need to pay more attention to how this whole relationship thing works.

If you haven’t got the foggiest what I’m talking about, let me explain how it works.

Relationships are like bank accounts.

There you go… all clear now?  No?  Oh, well; I’ll explain more.

Let’s assume you have a bank account with £100 in it and a £100 overdraft limit (because your credit rating is very good and your bank has deigned to lend to you).  If you want to withdraw £200 you can… happy days: you can buy that new whatever.

But, if you want to withdraw another £100 you can’t until you put something back.

And relationships work in exactly the same way.  You can’t keep taking from them indefinitely, you have to put something back to make sure you have credit otherwise the person on the other side will get naffed off… the upshot is you’ll lose a friend.

I may have mentioned once or twice about how good the present Mrs Lambert is at running a business.  That’s because she pays very close attention to the concept of being ‘in credit’ and it pays absolute dividends in her business.

If she asks one of her clients for a favour (i.e. she makes a withdrawal from the relationship) she makes damn certain that she pays in as soon as she can.

Paying in may mean referring another customer, buying something, providing a pro-active piece of advice… whatever.

Okay, all well and good – I think it’s a great way of developing a business with a loyal and happy client base – but let’s just think about the alternative.

I have a business acquaintance… I like the guy and I needed him to do something for me.  I was more than happy to pay, which was fortunate, because no discount was offered or taken!  But I needed a bit of help getting over the finish line with what I was doing and he was in the perfect position to help me.

Except it wasn’t something he could charge for, so he refused to do it point blank, even though it was easy and wouldn’t have actually cost him anything.

No great issue with that, I shrugged my shoulders and thought no more of it… until it came time for him to deliver the paid for work, which was late.

Now, at best his relationship with me had nothing in it, so the lateness (which was only a couple of days) was, in effect, a withdrawal.  Because he had no credit I got annoyed and won’t use his service again.

If he’d have put his relationship in credit, I’d have forgiven the lateness and we’d have worked it out.

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