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.