We all know the Golden Rule, treat others how you would like to be treated. But that is relative to you and your expectations.  Your expectations may not be the same as those of your clients or customers.

Instead, you should be practicing the Platinum Rule: Treat others the way they want to be treated.  This obviously is a big difference from the Golden Rule and keeps the expectations, goals and concerns of your clients or customers in mind.

Most of us have clients or customers who are individuals or local businesses/business owners.  We know who is writing the check to pay us, in my case legal fees and costs (not that it matters or you should treat the situation differently if the check is coming from a large company).  In some cases we may know a lot about their personal life and finances, or at least understand the amounts they are paying to us matter to them.  For me, I generally know the financial burden a lawsuit or other legal matter is placing on my client’s family or business.

Even when that isn’t the case and the client or customer can well afford the expenses being incurred with you or your business, they are not looking to pay for work that doesn’t directly benefit them.  Put yourself in your clients’ or customers’ shoes and make sure to think from their perspective, and how they want to be treated regarding options in proceeding and choices that affect costs. Treat their money as if it was your own.  A great way to do this is to listen fully when speaking with them.

If you do so, you will be off to a good start on managing your clients’ or customers’ expectations, treating them how they want to be treated and not spend their money in a manner that will come back to haunt you in the future.