In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger worked on establishing a détente with the Soviet Union, a cooling of hostilities. The relationship between the two countries was increasingly adversarial during The Cold War, and the threat of a conflict (maybe even a nuclear conflict) was growing greater.
One strategy during this détente was to help 3,000 Americans, including scientists, government officials, and college professors, develop relationships with 3,000 Russians from similar walks of life, making it more difficult for there to be an event that resulted in missiles being launched, and perhaps the end of the world as we knew it.
No one wants to lose their friends. Outside of our governments and our choice of economic systems, we had more in common than things that made us different.
This idea had merit then, and it has merit now. Relationships matter. The closer and more wide spread those relationships, the less likely that something bad happens. Cooler heads prevail. People argue for their friends.
Think about your existing clients.
- How widespread are your relationships?
- Do the people at the top of your organization know the people at the top of your client’s organization?
- How deep, how meaningful, are these relationships?
- Would your client’s people argue on your behalf?
- Would you argue for them?
This détente strategy can help you retain your clients when things are difficult.
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