Building Meaningful Client Relationships, Part II
4. SEEK TO CONNECT PEOPLE
I’m a natural people connector. I’m always looking for ways to connect really great people with one another. That holds true for my clients as well. Customers love meeting new people that ‘they ought to know’. I’ve acted as ‘headhunter’ on occasion where clients were looking for new roles, and I look to connect customers with people in their industry that I feel may be a value add for them. I don’t do this to get something back, I just like helping people. Think about who you know in your network that may help your customers and aim to connect people where it makes sense. Clients will value you and the help you provide if you can help them expand their networks.
5. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CLIENTS IN-PERSON, WHERE POSSIBLE
At the risk of stating the obvious, nothing beats spending time with a customer in person. No amount of phone calls or Skypes can substitute for getting to know someone in person. This is especially true in the initial stages of a customer relationship. You get to know someone best when you can look them in the eyes and shake their hands. Being in person isn’t necessary for each and every meeting. Once a baseline of trust and rapport has been established, phone calls and video conferences can sometimes suffice. But, where material discussions need to take place, such as with contract discussions and critical meetings, in-person time is key. I believe non-meeting time is key too, as an example, a lunch chat, where you just get to know the client and very little if any business is discussed.
6. STAY IN TOUCH
People value people who stay in touch with them. Everyone likes knowing that someone is there for them, over time. This goes for clients as well. Customers like keeping in touch with you. I tend to like to check in with customers periodically even when they’re no longer a client just to see how people are doing. Not out of posturing, but because they’re people I’ve gotten to know and I care about their successes. As you continue to check-in with people, there may be something you can do for them. Conversely, you may be in need of something from them. Oftentimes, former clients become customers at some point again in the future, or in cases where they’ve don’t, often, for me at least, many become friends. Who can you reach out to today to check in with?
Tracy DeCicco is the principal and founder of sales strategy firm, Konposit.
Konposit provides sales strategy and sales execution support to leading technology firms in the US and abroad, specializing in C-level messaging and engagement.
She can be reached at either email@example.com or at 303-570-3801