Developing Client Relationships

Developing client relationships is an important task for any business owner. But that is not as simple as it sounds. How does one go about developing client relationships especially if you never meet that person face-to-face? For that reason, we need to be authentic when we talk to our clients. If we come across as fake they will be able to hear it in our voice if we are speaking to each other or they will be able to tell by the inconsistency of our typed words. If your goal is to have a long term relationship with a client it is best to be yourself at your first meeting as you hope they are. Then each party can gauge if they like the other enough to work with them.

Here are a few tips in developing great client relationships:

Service with a smile:

There are surveys and reports out there that say even if you are just going to talk on the telephone smile before you dial. J Ok, that is old school talk but I needed the rhyme. There is something that happens to your voice when you are smiling, the person at the other end of the conversation can hear it in your voice.

Use Your Manners:

Manners may seem like they have gone out of fashion but believe me your clients will notice nice manners. Don’t use slang, ya, na, mmhhh, are not words that will evoke trust and likability. Yes ma’am, No sir, please and thank-you are all great words to use when speaking to a client. Swearing is never an option for a business conversation.

Under Promise and Over Deliver:

When you are doing a job for a client always under promise and over deliver. If your client needs something done by a certain date take that date and then bring the job done to them before they needed it but don’t promise them the earlier date. This helps to build trust in your relationship with that client because you over delivered what they were expecting from you.

Send a Thank You Card:

Here is a secret weapon that almost nobody uses. After you get off the phone with a potential client send a thank you note. Thank them for their time and for talking to you. Write something that you learned about their business during your discussion and then state that you will be calling/contacting them in a week or whenever you scheduled a follow-up visit.

If you use these common sense tips you will probably be ahead of 90% of your competition. Unfortunately, it seems like these things have disappeared from the ways of treating a client. If you use them it will be pleasingly shocking at first but I promise you these tips will make for some very happy clients.

About Shawn Snyder

Shawn Snyder owns SRS Virtual Assistant. We work as consultants and virtual help for the entrepreneur and small business owner who is looking for help with their social media needs, email marketing and admin office help.
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12 Responses to Developing Client Relationships

  1. Jan says:

    Shawn, these are great tips. Thank you.
    I love the reminder to smile before we speak to a client. The person at the other end of the phone can hear it and they appreciate doing business with a person. Of course, manners definitely go a long way. The tip about the thank you card is another good one. I think thank you cards are becoming a thing of the past, and that makes me sad.
    I always enjoy reading your posts. Keep up the good work!

  2. I am not sure about the use of vernacular, but definitely agree about overdelivering, underpromising, and remembering that you are thankful they are YOUR client.
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted..PAC ‘em in, it’s only our elections on the lineMy Profile

  3. Thank you Shawn. I like the concept of sending a thank you card/note so the client knows you don’t take their business for granted and they are important for your business.
    Damaria Senne recently posted..D Is For Diabetes, Which Is A Huge Part Of My LifeMy Profile

  4. Hi Shawn, I like the idea of sending a thankyou card. Would you send a physical card or use email? Manners to me are non negotiable at any time in business or not so I’m glad you raised it here. Gaynor Paynter, http://www.typewritetranscription.blogspot.com
    Gaynor Paynter recently posted..Typewrite Transcription and Typing Services CCMy Profile

    • Shawn Snyder says:

      Gaynor, I would try to use a physical card if I could. I know we don’t always get a physical address. But I think it makes is just that much more special. I use Send Out cards to get this done right after the phone call. But email would be better then nothing. At least they would still receive the thank you.

  5. Great compilation, Shawn! I especially love sending thank you cards because it’s a thoughtful way to let people know I’m thinking about them. Plus there are so much beautiful and fun options out there.
    Leslie S. Rivera recently posted..Lasting Business Relationships Through NetworkingMy Profile

    • Shawn Snyder says:

      Leslie, have you heard of Send Out Cards? I love it because right after I talk with a client I can jump on the website for that company and pick from hundreds of cards they have to pick from and get it shipped out that way to the client.

  6. Some great tips here Shawn. It surprises me these days how many people do actually forget their manners. Such a little (but big) thing that goes a long way!

    • Shawn Snyder says:

      I agree Michelle. Just checking out at a grocery store proves that point. Very rarely does the checker greet me, they usually are carrying on a conversation with the checker next to them. Grrr.

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