What are Clients Relationships
Client relationships come in many shapes and sizes.
The relationships can be with clients who are already paying for your service or with potential clients that you’re working to convince into hiring you as well. It’s important not only because of their business but also because it will make them feel good about themselves and the work they do, which is a large part of making sure people like what you do.
Importance of Great Client Relationships
You just made the sale, now what do you do? Build quality client relationships!
Sales training provides you with the necessary steps to landing the sale. Congratulations! You followed those steps to a tee and you closed the deal, but now what?
Maintaining client relationships post-sale is arguably as important if not even more important than landing the sale itself.
Think of sales as if it were fishing. At this stage, you’ve got the fish on the hook, but the fish is flopping and could come loose at any moment. Just like the fish, you’ve landed your client, but there’s no guarantee that they won’t choose to leave and go elsewhere.
Should You Focus on New Client Relationships?The customer experience as a whole is what ultimately leads customers to refer business your way. Click To Tweet
Those referrals remain more important than any other type of lead generation.
According to a recent 2016 Nielsen study, “82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase.”
According to Nielsen “Referrals don’t just help us make decisions. Often times, they’re the primary driver of them.”
Now, I want you to really think about that statistic for a minute and ask yourself again, if you think you should truly focus your attention away from your current clients in order to make new clients your top priority.
Just in case that staggering Nielsen statistic wasn’t convincing enough, according to Salesforce, gaining new customers is six to seven times more expensive than maintaining current ones you already have.
For those of you who struggle with math, if it costs you $1000 to maintain a customer, that means it will ultimately cost you between six and seven thousand dollars to gain a new one.
Get the picture?Customers want to feel special. Click To Tweet
Creating a personalized experience for your customers is of the utmost importance.
No one wants to feel like just another number. Each customer wants to feel like their business is not only wanted, but actually needed.
So what should your post-sale client relationship look like? It should be customer driven through customization and proactive communication.
As an example, let’s talk about client gifts.
How often do you send them? Around the holidays? Quarterly? Monthly? Special occasions only? Do you send them at all?
Chances are, client gifts are not on the top of your priority list, but they should be pretty high up there.
Putting forth that little bit of extra effort can help you close that last sale of the month and showing your clients that you are thinking of them post-sale is equally as important.
Giving them a gift they’ll actually enjoy is even more important (seriously stop sending branded coffee mugs and mouse pads, no one and I mean literally no one wants these things. Side note — does anyone even use a real mouse anymore??).
What is the Impact of Bad Client Relationships on a Company’s Success?
Bad client relationships can ruin your company’s success. If your clients think you are not a trustworthy or professional business, they will stop using your services and find someone else who can meet their needs better.
And I’m pretty sure that won’t sound good in your annual performance review.
How do you know if a client is going to be bad for your company?
There are no definite ways of knowing when someone will become problematic, but there are signs that can signal this in advance. If the client is constantly making up excuses as to why they cannot pay their bills or does not want to discuss payment plans, you may want to reconsider working with this person.
What can be done to prevent bad client relationships?
The first step is conducting a thorough interview of your potential clients before signing any contracts or setting up recurring payments. This will help you figure out how quickly they are going to pay and what their payment terms are – which should also dictate how quickly you deliver your services to them.
Next, set up contracts that can be terminated with a notice period for both parties – this way if they become problematic in the future and refuse to pay or send feedback then you are still protected legally. Finally, always give your clients as much information about yourself and what you offer upfront without demanding it from them.
How Do You Develop Strong Client Relationships?
You can develop strong client relationships by:
Communicate with them on a regular basis
Communication is extremely important when it comes to client relationships. You need them to know what is going on with your business and they should be able to answer any questions you have for them as well.
Show appreciation when a client does something amazing in their life or helps out the company, no matter how big of an accomplishment it may be. It is a sure way to make them feel good about themselves and the work they do.
It may seem like an obvious one, but keeping promises goes a long way when it comes to developing strong client relationships. It shows that you also care for their well-being as much if not more than your own company’s success.
Just because your clients are paying you to take care of a project doesn’t mean that they don’t want the best service or quality. It is important to give them value for their money, which means providing high-quality work and getting it done in a timely manner.
It is important to take the time out of your schedule to nurture relationships with clients. This can include follow-ups, asking them how their day was or just checking in on a project that they were not completely satisfied with. It shows that you care about their experience and want to make it as positive as possible for everyone involved. When they come back with feedback, address it promptly and professionally.
Understand how to work with them best
Every client is different and has a unique set of needs. The more you know about their personality, the better you will be at understanding what they want or need from your company’s services. If there are certain types of things that trigger an emotional response from the customer, this could help you anticipate their reaction to certain situations.
Know what they want and need from you
It is important that the company knows how a client operates, but also make sure that they are aware of your needs as well. This involves knowing the deadline for deadlines, in addition to other potential roadblocks or challenges that may be associated with completing their project. If there is anything that you want to address with the client before they submit their final payment, now is the time.
One of the most important parts of a relationship is making sure both parties feel valued and appreciated in their interactions with one another. Check your email or phone messages daily to make sure any questions are answered promptly so that there isn’t an issue arising due to miscommunication.
Be professional and courteous in your interactions with clients
If they are not satisfied or have an issue with the service you provide them, work together on resolving it as soon as possible so that there is no bad blood between the two parties.
4 Tips in Improving Client Relationships
It is important to maintain good client relationships in order for the company’s success rate to stay high. And these four tips should help make this process easier!
1. Gifting should be part of sales
When running through your sales cycle, it is unlikely that you take into account the act of gifting.
However, “Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) has conducted surveys of corporate gift givers and recipients.
They have shown that vendors who gave were twice as likely to increase their chances of being contacted by recipients as those that didn’t have a gift program.”
This is something you should keep in mind not only for potential new clients, but existing ones as well.
What type of gifts to consider?
There are an outrageous number of gift vending options and endless unique ideas as to how you can customize them with your branding but the key to solid client gifting is to always ask yourself, “would I be happy receiving this?”
Try to always find gift options that are useful, thoughtful and relevant for your clients.
Keep top of mind with clients by providing them with something practical, whether it be just to say hello, or as a snack during a client meeting.
The goal should be to stand out for the nice gesture, not for the obscure one.
When to send gifts?
This is a difficult question. Many factors go into the response for this.
What can be recommended is that if you feel it’s been a while since you’ve touched base with your clientele, it’s time to send out some “thinking of you — hope business is well” gifts.
Budget permitting, sending gifts to clients would ideally be done at least on a quarterly basis, but if budget restraints present themselves, the very minimum is to send something around the holidays.
Keep in mind holiday gifts are extremely popular so choose either right before holiday season begins or right after New Years to stand out from the crowd.
Here’s an example of a client gift option…
Shameless plug, but you could use WorkPerks to create customized snack boxes for client gifts or even client meetings.
The snacks included are all individually wrapped, so they are easily sharable within an office setting.
WorkPerks created this video which shows several client gifts that simply aren’t winners. As mentioned, client gifts are important for maintaining healthy, positive client relationships. Don’t make the mistakes in this video.
Be smart, gift smarter.
Hopefully, that video gave you a good laugh.
In reality though, think about all of the ridiculous things that vendors and business partners have done for you in the past.
Some of those ridiculous things may have left a lasting impression, but certainly not in the way we are trying to accomplish.
Remember, the goal here is to let the client know they are on your mind and not forgotten post-sale.
2. Make customers feel valued
Beyond the realm of client gifting, there are infinite ways to add value to your client relationships, but communication is key.
Check in regularly with your clients.Find out what is and what isn’t working for your clients and then adjust accordingly. Click To Tweet
Keep them in the loop with exciting company updates and trends — keeping your name and company logo regularly in front of them, will help to keep you top of mind with clients.
3. Provide out of the box value
Not only should you make your customers feel valued, you should also find unique ways to think outside of the box and provide unexpected value to your customers.
You can provide added value by being an “expert” in your space by offering tools, insight and tips that are complementary to the product or service you are providing for your clients.
For example, if you are in the marketing technology space, and you come across a great tool that helps track social media presence and reach, share it with your clients as a nice way to say “I’m thinking about your company’s success.”
4. Become your client’s “person”
You’ve proven that your product provides value to your client and you’ve shown them that you’re willing to go above and beyond to help their business succeed by offering insight into other tools that they might find useful.
You’re building a relationship with your client that goes beyond selling them a product or service they need, you’re proving to them that you are a champion of their business as much as you are a champion of selling them yours.
Now, what exactly is all of this accomplishing?
You’ve maintained a consistent relationship with your client over time. They trust you, and they appreciate your dedication to keeping them a happy client.
When their contract expires shortly or when they decide to “restructure their budget,” instead of shopping around for new, potentially better, or more budget-friendly options, you have created not only brand loyalty, but personal loyalty as well that will supersede any desire to find out if the grass truly is greener on the other side — you’ve established that the grass is the perfect shade of green right here.
If you’re looking for a new way to manage your client relations, LeadFuze is the answer.
We offer a completely personalized experience that will help you build relationships and close deals with ease. Our team of experts is always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about our services.
You’ll never have to worry about managing customer service again! With LeadFuze, we take care of everything from start to finish so all you have to do is focus on what matters most – your clients.
Client relationships are important in order to maintain the company’s success rate. With these four tips, you should be able to establish good relationships with your clients!
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