Jun 26The Client Next Door

In this day and age, it’s not necessary to be “local” to a client.  Sure, it might be nice to have a couple of face-to-face meetings, but with technology being what it is today, same city relationships are not required. Most of my clients however, do tend to be from New York.  It’s mainly a factor of my business being small, and my getting clients through word of mouth referrals.  But is there such a thing as too local?

One of my clients is literally around the corner from my home. And it’s a grocery store, which means I am there frequently. When I walk in, I feel like Norm from Cheers, since everyone knows my name.  I love this in a grocery store. I love it in a client. I’m just not sure I always love the crossover.

When I run in for milk and bump in to the owner, am I required to get in to a lengthy business discussion? Do I need to know all the facts of our latest initiative if I am just going for grapes and garbage bags?

Everyone knows the saying, usually used when referring to workplace romance – don’t sh@*t where you eat. Should the same be true for clients? On the one hand, I think the fact that I am a customer helps my consulting since I am intimately familiar with what they do well, and what they do not so well. And I obviously have a vested interest in seeing them succeed. But sometimes, I just want to keep my head down and buy my milk.

Any one else have this issue?