Everyone knows that building client relationships in professional services takes time. Rarely will you go to an introductory meeting and walk out with a contract (or even a Request for Proposal). It may take months and years to develop the trust for repeat work, referrals, and that “unbreakable” client relationship. Whether your area of expertise is private or public, clients are golden. No one wants to hear “We’ve decided to go with another firm” on this project. Oopsie! What happened?
You cannot take clients for granted nor go into maintenance mode.
You need to constantly EARN a client’s trust. No matter how long you’ve worked together, you must proactively protect the relationship you’ve developed.
Engage Actively: This is crucial and involves regular communication and interaction. Respond promptly to their emails and calls, and actively listen to their concerns, needs, and feedback. Show genuine interest in their business and challenges. Find excuses to be “in the neighborhood” and have a drop-in meeting. Set up a video call and share a cup of coffee. SIT (Stay In Touch) often!
Add Value: Continuously seek ways to add value to your client’s business. This might involve providing them with insights, recommendations, or solutions that go beyond the scope of your initial agreement. Share case studies and relevant content that will help them overcome obstacles. Regularly demonstrate your expertise and commitment. Become obsessed with your clients’ success!
Relationship Building: Building strong client relationships goes beyond the transactional aspects of business. Invest time and effort in getting to know your clients on a personal level when appropriate. Remember important details about their lives and preferences. This personal touch can strengthen the bond and trust between you and your client. Be curious, not creepy.
Nurture Trust: Trust is the foundation of any successful client relationship. Be honest, transparent, and reliable in your dealings. Deliver on your promises consistently and address any issues or concerns promptly and professionally. Trust is earned over time and can be fragile, so nurture it carefully.
By following these EARN principles, you can establish and maintain positive, long-lasting client relationships that benefit your clients, your career and your firm’s success.
Most professionals have adequate technical skills to perform their jobs. Communication skills are the hardest to master. I provide training that blends a veteran’s insights, communication best practices, and practical application to set the stage for professional satisfaction and career growth.