Making Lasting Connections With Clients
Steps To Building Solid Client Relationships
If you’re working directly with clients, then you understand how important building that relationship is! Whether they are new or old clients, it is vital that you not only grow those relationships but keep them lasting for years to come. Here are some key areas that will help you along the way.
One of the main components of any client relationship is strong communication. If you do it well, it will trickle down to all the other areas that help form a strong connection. With communication, you want to make sure you are always open and clear with what you are trying to say. Break things down so that it is simple and easy to understand. Make sure you are timely with your responses, ask questions, be extremely transparent and always follow up post-discussion.
Another important piece to building solid client relationships is managing expectations. Everyone has their own deadlines, to-do lists, etc., so making sure you are all on the same page with action items and deliverables is crucial. I recommend always documenting things in writing, (i.e., email). This helps keep everyone accountable and on track with what needs to be done as well as who is responsible for each actionable item. You never want to play the guessing game. Confirmations are important and if you don’t get them, follow up.
Additionally, it's good to know when to stop and say, ‘hold on, we have one too many requests, which one is the priority to get done first?’ Always saying yes can get you into trouble. Making your clients happy is top priority, but being open and honest with what you can/can’t do within a specified timeline is better than overpromising and not being able to deliver. Knowing that balance and communicating it clearly will benefit you in the long run.
If you are thoroughly communicating and managing expectations then you are on your way to building trust with your client. They ultimately came to you as a knowledge expert in your field. Be that expert but stay humble in your knowledge. Be willing to educate, help and support, but also open to ideas and information. Building trust can take some time, but is one of the areas that will take a good client relationship to a great client relationship.
Lastly, it's important to get to know your clients. Yes, we are all busy bees working hard and we need to keep on task, but being personable goes a long way! Spend the first two mins of each conversation catching up. Take the time to get to know them, their likes and dislikes. Showing that you care about them as an individual instead of just a job that needs to get done, will give that extra “special” touch.
At the end of the day it's important to remember that you are all on the same team working towards the same goal! Be there for your clients, stay positive and keep the line of communication open, always!
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