I have written before about developing a company culture and philosophy. That even at this early stage your company takes on your personality. Your culture grows from your decisions and direction, then those of your employees.
The way I treat people is something I have been contemplating recently. When approaching potential clients I have seen it as a us and them situation. They had money my small business needed. Most people I approached I didn't know and I just needed to convince them. I needed to learn the skills and become a better salesman and "close deals".
This did not sit well with me. I didn't want to feel like a smarmy salesman, like I was tricking people. My passion is helping people. Building their business. Bringing them clients through a well executed website. The money and company growth I need would then follow. I just had to put all my energy into building great websites that benefited people's businesses.
I noticed this when I started doing more networking and less cold calling (visiting). At more relaxed social events with people I knew, if they introduced me to a potential client I was much more relaxed. I was discussing how I could help their business, what problems I could solve for them. It wasn't about money or closing deals.
I would like this to be the way my company grows. If an interaction cannot be mutually beneficial, then I am not sure its worth pursuing. You start assessing what they would be like to work with, how would they speak of you to others in the future, how your relationship could evolve and still benefit each other. You become colleagues in the business world, helping each other grow their business.
Anyway, I am new at this, just thought I would share my evolving ideas. Talk to me on twitter about your experiences.