Having a strong, positive relationship with existing clients. Is important because it set you up for repeat business. And nothing can save you marketing dollar than a happy customer you repeatedly does business with. Your happy customer are always likely to tell 2 or more of there friends or network about your business. Which by far is the best form of marketing (word of mouth)
But it doesn’t just happen before a client even thinks about signing on to do work with you—-you need to be laying foundation for a strong relationship.
But when you’re limited on time and resources (as most small business owners are) it can be challenging to know where to focus your energy. Building a client relationships takes time, but if done better, it always pays for the effort.
And according to one survey as reported by Oracle. 80% of consumers will pay more for better experience. That translates to business-to-business relationships too, in any industry. With companies having the potential to make billions more simply through better client experience.
How to establish a positive client relationship.
The first few days or weeks after connecting with a potential customer Can be crucial because the relationship is still flesh it’s quite fragile.
Think about your first connection like a first date. You may end the evening excited about who you just met, but if they take too long to follow up or reconnect, you might lose interest eventually, you may move on to someone else.
The same applies to client relationships. In the early days you need to establish your relation to make it a positive one by setting that right tone.
So, how does establishing a positive client relationship works.
Meeting a client for coffee or taking them for an expensive meal is not enough. When building a positive client relationships you need to make them feel that the encounter added more value to your lives, (and especially theirs)
1. Meet a client and start a conversation.
This is where you build that-ever important rapport, where you click with client. The idea is to get them a comfortable, neutral environment. But ensure that your meeting spot offers the opportunity to let the conversation flows freely. Get to know your client: what makes them happy? What do they do for fun? Find out what are the things that matter to them and how your relationship with them can be their benefit.
This can even be over personal interests such as sports or act. Be sure to ask questions, great questions and ask for recommendations, even advice on something that helps you in business or how to improve your fly fishing game.
2. Thank your clients and follow-up.
Never forget to thank your client for their time. Within few day of meetings. An a few days or weeks after that send them a thank you note. Be sure to drop your client a line about the advice they have given you it a recommendation they provided. Give then feedback on how that help you out and thank them for the tips.
3. The personal note:
Pass on information about a topic you know interest your client. This can happen immediately after your meeting or even a few weeks after. It gives you the opportunity to make a connection with the client, that doesn’t involve a sale, which will make your client feel a little more important than just a. Number on the books.
4. Regular communications.
As former CEO Andrew Miller of polycom explained. In a q&a with ZDNET, “customers can have mixed environment,” but the main point is to increase collaboration which in turn increases productivity. Collaborate with your client by communicating regularly so that you understand their needs and problems and can provide a solution. Client need to know what going on. When they’re left hanging and forced to constantly track you down, eventually they’re going to go elsewhere.
Give regular updates on projects you are already working on-the more you’re in contact with your client the stronger their trust in you will be.
5. Address issues early.
From human error to computer glitches, problem with suppliers and so on, inevitably something less them desirable will probably happen at some point in the relationship. Has human, when issues occur, on either side, it’s easy to want to just ignore them and hope they go away. Though sometime your customers won’t reach back to you again, but you have go try get it address early.
If your client pitches an idea which you deem problematic. tell them why it’s tempting to be agreeable or order to avoid awkward confrontation. Remember that your client came to you for advice and professionalism. by withholding your honest opinion you could damage their reputation and your own.