I recently heard a story about a company that sues their clients when they attempt to terminate the relationship. It doesn’t matter if this company isn’t performing up to their client’s expectations or needs. This company doesn’t care that they’re not creating the value their clients need from them. If they leave early, they get sued.
When I heard this story, I was incredulous. I mean, if a company sued a client for breaking the contract once, I’d assume it was under some rare circumstances. But I was wrong. This company routinely sues their clients, and their existing clients won’t consider changing firms until their contract with this firm expires.
I can’t imagine signing a contract with this company knowing that this is their practice. If I were their competitor, I’d use all of the clients they sued as my references.
Everyone has a contractual relationship. But if the contract is the basis of your clients doing business with you, then you are failing as a sales organization (and you are failing a business).
A contractual relationship is a very weak form of relationships. The strongest relationship you can have is one built on caring and creating value. Those are the relationships that stand the test of time. They’re also the relationships that withstand competitive threats.
If your client does business with you only because you have a contract, your relationship isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.