Tales of infidelity are splashed across the news everywhere. Tiger Woods and Francois Hollande are just a few in a line that includes Clinton, Wiener and Spitzer. There’s even a TV show called ‘Cheaters’ salaciously exposing the offender for all to see.

Everyone has different reasons for cheating but Ruth Houston, a New York Infidelity expert has distilled the main causes into a few key points.

These reasons have a direct correlation to the issue many companies face of ‘Why did my client cheat on me with another’ It’s that sinking feeling you dread  when the sales manager walks into the client’s reception area and finds opposition product sitting neatly on a pallet next to the replacement filtered water bottles.

Let’s examine some of Ms Houston’s reasons for cheating and see how we can keep our clients monogamous.

Note: Please replace sex with ‘value’ .This is business and we are talking about client relationships, not the ones that involve dodgy text messaging and hotel rooms.

1. More sex.

Clients simply want more. You think you’ve given it your all in servicing their needs but they still want more value, bang for buck, faster delivery. We have to be really diligent in understanding that relationships are not static and what was once acceptable becomes unacceptable over time.

If you’re in doubt about this one, look over the next cubicle and ask one of your married colleagues!

2. Variety of sex

People get bored. Simple. You may think you’re safe and reliable in that you’ve looked after their needs for five years, but what have you done to freshen it up. Are there new ways of looking after their systems, new ways of bundling your services? Isn’t it about time you mixed it up a bit – gave the clients a couple of fresh technical specialists or a new account manager with fresh eyes to liven it up.

3. You don’t make me feel special any more

The expression ‘taken for granted’ is taken for granted. We all know we shouldn’t be complacent or rely on email instead of face to face engagement BUT is still happens far too frequently. Clients know when you’re going through the motions, you’re not ‘sending them flowers, surprising them with a new restaurant or giving them a metaphorical back rub’ They want to feel special – that’s why they ask you seemingly innocuous questions like ‘So what other clients have you won recently’ They are often really saying ‘ Do you still love me’. Show it

4 Sexual curiosity

Ruth Houston discusses mild infatuation or curiosity. People are curious and interested in ‘the other’. Despite the mantra of ‘our clients are too risk averse’ many of them are looking around and they are often attracted to that cute new piece of software that their friends are talking about at the golf club.

Clients want you to be innovative with your solutions – they have no reason to cheat if you are consistently making yourself more attractive and engaging them with new ideas.

Clients cheat for all sorts of reasons and it is far too simplistic to say it was price or the system was down for too long.

The real reasons in our personal lives are often the same in our business lives.

I have to go now …this hotel room only books by the hour…..

Written by Elliot Epstein, CEO, Salient Communication

Elliot has trained and coached over 4000 people throughout the Asia Pacific Region and is a sought after keynote speaker on Sales, Negotiation, Leadership and Presentations.

E: elliote@salientcommunication.com.au

© Salient Communication