Good to know that you value client relationships! You wouldn’t have landed here if you didn’t!
It is quite true that businesses run only because of clients, and relationships with them are the foundation of every company’s existence. You can’t expect success in the B2B world unless you have cordial client relations. In fact, by improving client relationships, you can set yourself apart from the competition.
Do you want some stats? Here you go!
When the client relations are not up to the mark, 86% of customers stop doing business with an organization.
Also, when customers get personalized service, 80% of them say that they will be interested in doing business with that firm.
Contrary to popular belief, it takes effort to build long-term client relationships. Also, you have to tweak your approach with each client to get the best results as there is no one-size-fits-all concept here.
Hope you get the idea!
Let’s learn more about the importance of building relationships with clients and the tips you can follow to build strong ones.
Table Of Contents
You must have observed that when a company offers substandard customer service, they start losing business. This indicates that if you want to grow, you must connect better with clients and develop a long-term relationship as only then you can get repeat business from them. When customers are satisfied, they are more likely to recommend your product or service to the people they know. To date, word-of-mouth marketing fetches excellent results, and that is why it is essential to build strong relationships with clients.
Now that you know the importance of building and maintaining client relationships, you must be wondering what you should do to build them. Here are the ways of building customer relationships and establishing client relationships that last long,
The first step to build a client relationship is to know about your client. Try doing your research and find out
1. How their business works
2. Their competitors
3. Their target audience
4. Their business model
5. Their budget
6. Their short and long term goals,
7. The technology they currently use
It is essential because no two companies work the same way, especially those from different industries. Also, you will be able to approach them with more confidence when you have gathered enough knowledge about them. For example, if you are creating a social media pitch, analyze their online presence such as comments and likes on Instagram.
On a more personal level, you should try to know about the preferences and interests of those you are working with. That will help you a lot in building a stronger connection with the prospect.
Choose to schedule a meeting with the client to know them better. It is a critical point to connect with them and know them and their company better.
Sales involve a lot of communication, and you should make sure that you do it effectively. As clients’ preferences can be different, it is your job to find out which is their preferred channel of communication.
While few prospects might want to connect over the phone, some get annoyed with calls. Find out what they find convenient and ask them whether it is okay to send updates through email. Also, ask them how to reach them when the matter is urgent.
Giving importance to the preference of the client is like putting your best foot forward in building strong client relationships.
When you are in the process of building your relationship with a client, there can be times when you have to go out of the way and oblige them. To meet the customer’s requirements, you may have to offer them a customized solution or do something quite different from your core business. When you do so, the client is never going to forget your favor, and it may also open the path for some extra revenue for you.
In this way, you may come across an opportunity that you didn’t consider before. Just remember that you are getting paid handsomely for your extra efforts.
Another way to build strong relationships is by leaving a solid impression on clients by finishing the project ahead of the deadline. It will show that you honor commitments and have the dedication to your work. Clients will indeed talk about your sincerity to their peers, and you are likely to earn referrals.
It would be best if you tried to give equal importance to your clients regardless of their background. Make them feel important even if they run a small business.
The point is that when you make the client happy, you are likely to get a referral even if you don’t close a deal with them. Additionally, having a good connection with them will help in the long run because when the client changes jobs, they are likely to recommend you to their new company.
You should also note that a client’s small business can scale up and become a Fortune 500 company which means that your good behavior towards them will eventually bear fruit. So, try to meet every client with equal warmth if you want to build strong relationships with them.
You have to meet the expectations of clients and deliver what you promise them. Just meeting them won’t do; try your best to exceed that for building a strong relationship with them.
It begins by setting realistic expectations right from the beginning. However, if you live up to them, you can create a good rapport with the client, and they will start trusting you more. Hence, it is essential to give all you can to deliver what you promised so that the client can rely on you.
When you are building your relationship with clients, you have to treat it just like other relationships. There is a need for courtesy, understanding, and kindness. You should treat the client as a person and show genuine concern if you want a long-lasting bond with the customer.
Let’s consider this example: If the client has been unwell for a while, you should send an email and ask them about their welfare. It would make them feel that you think about them and mean well to them.
Remember that the other person would know if you are faking it, which would turn them off. Note that you should know your boundaries and not be over-friendly with the clients, making them uncomfortable. It is a crucial point to bear in mind when you build customer relationships
Earning the client’s trust is the most precious thing for a salesperson. To look like an expert, you have to be proficient in your niche and know your product or service inside-out. You have to show that you have complete knowledge of your industry, which will show in how you talk and act. When client understands that you are knowledgeable enough, they will look up to you for advice, and you have to make sure that you maintain that image well. You can even send them resources that they would find helpful or invite them to an event that will be useful to them.
So, when you get feedback from them,
You should then implement it and let them know that you have made the changes. You may be wondering how this will help nurture your relationship with the client. Well, when you implement the client’s feedback, they would feel happy that you pay heed to them and are willing to accept constructive criticism. It is a significant stepping stone towards building rock-solid relationships with clients
If you tend to give up easily, you can’t expect to get great results. You must follow up with persistence so that you don’t lose the client. However, don’t behave like a stalker. You can even ask the client when they would like to interact with you so that you don’t end up annoying them.
Use social networking platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to follow up along with sending emails in between. It would be even better if you offer free resources to the prospect that they would find helpful.
While you have a professional relationship with the client, you need not restrict it to be just that. You have to go beyond the business connection and get a little personal for a stronger bond with the client. You can ask how the vacation of your client went or ask them about their latest personal accomplishments.
It is okay to talk about things that are not connected with business because it is the little stuff that matters a lot. You can send them a card to wish them on special occasions to bring in a personal touch.
Treating clients as people will help you stand out from the salespersons who only look at clients as sales opportunities and don’t know how to build customer relationships with them.
If you want to build a long-lasting relationship with clients, they need to trust you. For that, you have to be open about your thoughts and your opinion regarding a project. Simply nodding to what clients say and not telling them what your actual opinion is will eventually backfire. You won’t look genuinely interested, and the chances of building a long-term relationship will fizzle out.
When you express your opinions confidently, your clients will look up to you for your advice and turn to you for future requirements. It is an excellent way of building and maintaining client relationships
You should be proactive with clients and try to share new ideas and strategies with them. Moreover, get them prepared for upcoming technological changes and help them with the actions they should take.
Try your best to educate the client to be independent and move around without handholding them. In a way, the clients will appreciate this act of yours which will help in building trust.
Most often, you would want to say yes to whatever the client says. But it can be risky to do so when the prospect has big plans. If there is the slightest doubt about whether you can live up to the client’s expectations, share it with them right away. Don’t blindly say yes at that time and later back off, you will lose the prospect’s trust. If you have an issue, you can say something like – “That sounds amazing, but there may be some policies that we have to consider, so please allow me to check before we proceed.” By being honest, you will earn the other person’s trust and get repeat business.
Turn to technology if you want to impress your prospects. With tools that automate the work process, it would be possible to deliver your solution on time. Plus, you would look more professional. Clubbed with excellent skills, the use of tools will leave a lasting impact on your clients, and they would consider doing business with you. For example, add scannable codes to your existing marketing materials. This allows the prospective client to easily access your website or the pdf of your marketing material instead of having to search for it.
There are certain skills that you must develop to build strong relationships with clients,
For a salesperson, patience is the quality you must possess. There will be times when your client will get too demanding, but you have to exhibit your best behavior and be patient. It will help you understand the customer’s pain points and the situation better. If you lose your temper, you will be at a loss because many other businesses offer a product or service similar to yours.
Everyone likes getting attention, and this is one tactic that can make you get into your client’s good books. You must try to pay attention to the client and listen actively to understand what they need and the issues they are currently facing. When you know what they require, you can present your solution to them in such a way that they cannot say no. It will help you close deals faster.
Like how communication is essential in every relationship, it is an integral part of a client relationship. You have to work towards honing your communication skills when you are a sales rep. While communicating with prospects you need to take care that they get impressed by you, and that would be like winning half of the battle. You should know what to say in which situation. Also, being readily available for the client will make them feel as though they are essential for you. It makes the clients more comfortable in sharing all the details. However, there is a boundary of professionalism and friendliness that you have to set.
When you get a lot of stuff done in a short period, you will impress your clients. Everybody is in a rush, and the fact that you value other people’s time will further strengthen your relationship. You must learn how to allocate your time to each task to get more done in a short time.
In building good customer relationships, you need to understand your own feelings. By being self-aware, you can decipher your feelings and emotions and determine their impact on your behavior.
Here is how it works, suppose you had a rough day with a client, you would carry that mood to the next client meeting if you lack self-awareness. On the other hand, once you start understanding your own feelings, you may tell the client before getting started that you had a tough day, and if they find you a little off track, there is nothing in it about them.
Getting into the other person’s shoes to understand what they are feeling is a great way to build a strong relationship. If the client is in some trouble at work, take a minute to absorb their feelings. It is a much better option than behaving as if nothing happened. The client will build a stronger bond with you if you are empathetic.
Add elements of realism and optimism to your sales approach. Being realistic involves looking at the client’s situation without bringing your solution into the scene. The next step would be to blow in some optimism by helping the customer visualize their pain points vanishing and what their situation looks like in the future. The last part involves selling, where you offer a way for the client to reach their desired destination.
Are you wondering how to build customer relationships virtually? In this age of the pandemic, interacting remotely with clients is the new normal. Due to social distancing, salespeople prefer connecting virtually to in-person meetings. However, it is still possible to build strong relationships.
One way is by engaging in conversations on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. It is possible to join groups with people from the same industry or those who share common interests. In addition, you can interact with those who have similar interests or are from the same background as yours.
Another option is to search for articles related to your business on the internet and leave your comments for the article author or other visitors. You should try to wait for responses and use them as an excuse to start a conversation. That’s a great way to build client relationships virtually.
You must try to level up your skills to build lasting relationships with clients. Here’s a list of the best books that you must read when you want to build customer relationships and make your business scale up,
1. Managing The Professional Service Firm by David H. Maister
2. All for One: 10 Strategies for Building Trusted Client Partnerships by Andrew Sobel
3. What Clients Really Want by Chantell Glenville
4. The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon
5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
6. Financial Times Guides: Business Development – How to Win Profitable Customers and Clients
7. Effective Client Management in Professional Services: How to Build Successful Client Relationships by Jack Berkovi
8. Developing Knowledge-based Client Relationships: Leadership in Professional Services by Ross Dawson
9. The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister, Robert Galford, and Charles Green
10. Making Rain: The Secrets of Building Lifelong Client Loyalty by Andrew Sobel
You now know how to build strong client relationships and their importance for your business and are probably willing to put your best foot forward to impress your clients. To build solid client bonds, you need to be trustworthy, reliable, transparent, and approachable.
It will be easier when you use our strategies. After following them religiously, most of our users have seen a 35% increase in conversions.
If you want to grow, you must connect better with clients and develop a long-term relationship as only then can you get repeat business. When customers are satisfied, they are more likely to recommend you to others.
One way is by engaging with prospects on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. Another option is to search for online articles related to your business and leave your comments.
Indeed, businesses run only because of clients, and relationships with them are the foundation of every company’s existence. You can’t expect success in the B2B world unless you have cordial client relations.
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