News: May 2013
TIPS FOR IMPROVING CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS
One of the most important parts of any business is maintaining and enhancing relationships with clients. This makes the time spent on a project more enjoyable, satisfying and effective. Improved relationships also improve the chance that the firm will get referrals and future business.
Be clear and open with client – This is the number one guideline for a successful client engagement. Be clear and open with everything from a sales proposal through to the final contract and this will assist in developing strong working relationships which should contribute to repeat business from loyal clients.
Get to know your client – Relationships are better when the individuals involved take the time to get to know one another. Learn about the client’s interests. You will likely spend many hours with your clients so you should take the time to build a positive working relationship with them. Make it a point to learn something new about each client in every meeting you have. Once you learn something new, keep track of that information in your CRM system or in a client file.
Ask questions – When we ask questions we understand situations better. Take the time to ask your client how they feel about the service so far, what other services your business could provide, etc. Ask the client about their company − showing that you are interested will help them to feel like a valuable and important client of your firm.
Be willing to say “No” – In many cases, clients ask us to do things beyond our capabilities or interests. When these new requests are outside the contract agreement, be willing to say no. Take time to understand both the client’s reason for asking as well as your ability to deliver. Don’t automatically say yes, because if you agree to something and then fail to deliver, you could risk spoiling the client relationship.
Be willing to say “Yes” – Sometimes yes is the right answer – and only you will know when. Sometimes it is worth going the extra mile for a client. Perhaps they are very profitable or they may be a source of good referral work. If so, then it may be worth putting in the extra effort in order to gain new opportunities.
Solve problems for your client – Clients want value. Deliver that value to your client by solving a problem for them. Whether you sell a product or a service, using that sale to provide a solution for the client will help them to see the value that your firm offers and will create loyalty towards your brand.