Building Meaningful Client Relationships, Part I
I expect this may be part of a multi-part piece, but I wanted to touch on the topic of building meaningful client relationships. Relationships that matter. Relationships that count. Relationships that stand the test of time.
A few of my thoughts.. Part I
1. Don’t ‘try’ to force the relationship, just let it happen
Real relationships take time and are rooted in trust. They aren’t instantaneously formed. ‘Be there’ over time. Show up. Do what you say you’re going to do. Go the extra mile to bring a client an insight they may not have already heard about. For a meeting I’d had with an SVP of planning for a luxury retailer, I’d done research on the client personally through a blog he had and noticed that he liked products that had patina and had beautiful wear to them, like leather accessories with lovely finishes. Around that time, I’d seen an article in WSJ that pertained to a Nordic company making beautiful accessories products with a fine patina finish. I had brought that article to our first meeting and ended up giving it to him. I expect it may have left a small imprint. Little things can make a difference.
2. Seek to genuinely get to know your client; do not see it as a ‘conquest’
People want human connection. They are not looking to be "conquested". Anyone who senses this will reel from it. When you’ve earned the right over time to ask about a client personally, do so. Do they have a family? Kids? Kids’ names? Personal interests? People will never forget that you never forget about the personal things that matter to them.
3. Be a thought leader. Bring your client industry information they need and want to know.
To some extent, your client is insular. They work for a firm and while they, like many of us, are fairly networked, they need and appreciate views from the ‘outside’. Partner inputs are critical for your customers. They need and want to know about new things going on in their industry, people moves in-industry they may not have already heard about, important use cases they should be aware of and the like. Tell them something they need to know ‘now’ and they will be partner of yours.. for life.
More to come in Part II. I welcome your thoughts.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-570-3801