Growing a business is hard work. It’s easy to get caught up in building your customer or lead list, but what about the clients you already have? Building stronger relationships with this core group can enable you to grow them into a lead magnet for attracting new businesses.
So let’s discuss why you shouldn’t ignore the relational aspect of business and how you can start enhancing your business relationships today.
Why it’s important to connect with clients
We encourage you to invest the time to better understand your clients and their business goals. The better the service you can provide these clients, the more likely they’ll be to achieve those goals.
Word of mouth is a powerful business-building tool. Some of your best advocates are going to be your clients. They’ve experienced firsthand how you’ve helped their businesses drive success. And chances are, they know another entrepreneur or owner who is looking for your expertise.
While this is a great reflection on the service and support you provide, it’s also a great marketing tool for your business: these happy clients won’t be able to stop talking about how you helped take their business to the next level, which in turn builds interest among prospective clients.
Five ways you can build strong relationships with your clients
Listen to your clients Invite them to collaborate and be part of the process Be clear in communication and deliver on time Educate and inspire them Follow up purposefully
Genuinely listening to your clients’ requests and feedback will go a long way toward establishing a strong business partnership. Building trust with clients early on shows them that you have their best interests at heart and that you care about their success. They’ve hired you for your advice and expertise, so make sure that you take the time to listen to and understand their objectives and goals.
While you were hired as the expert, it doesn’t mean clients shouldn’t have a say. Instead of telling clients what you think is best for their business, try giving them a variety of options and invite them to be a part of the process. Work with them rather than simply for them. Don’t let your years of experience cause you to exclude clients with fresh ideas who are new to the business.
Keeping your clients informed will help you immensely in the long run. Before you start a project, provide the client with an outline of what they can expect as well as key details like the projected finish date. If you can answer their questions ahead of time, it allows for less distractions and miscommunication.
Aside from providing your expertise, teaching your clients is another way to build a better relationship. Beyond just providing a service, your clients have hired you for your guidance and advice. So when you’re meeting with clients, look for opportunities to educate. Show them what they can do and where they can take their business.
Lastly, once the project is completed, a follow up is a great way to wrap up the project and get some client feedback. Think of it as a friendly check-in to make sure that the client is satisfied with the work and they understand how to use their new software or tool moving forward. Be sure to check that they don’t have any open-ended questions and that you’ve addressed any concerns they may have. You can also use this follow up as a way to gather testimonials and reviews from the client, if you so choose.
These are just a few ways to improve and strengthen your relationship with clients. What other methods are you using to build relationships with your clients? Let us know in the comments!
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