7 Ways to build client relationships
Be nice – I know it sounds pretty elementary but if you think about this for a minute it will make sense. How many people do you run across in a day that are crabby and in a sour mood? You don’t want to interact with them nor be around them and certainly you don’t want to do business with them. If you’re having a bad day and can’t seem to turn it around then don’t interact with your clients, because one bad day can turn a client in the other direction or a potential client running to someone else. People don’t like to do business with grumpy and irritable people!
Follow up – Most people today are so busy and don’t have enough hours in the day, but you have to understand the importance of following up with both potential clients and also with your current clients. The simple act of following up will not only make you stand out from your competitors but will let your clients know that you do care about them. Successful follow up actions can simply include an email, handwritten letters, eZines, greeting cards, an invitation to an event, or a phone call. You want to choose follow up actions that will fit your style and remember to do them on a regular basis. If you can consistently implement follow up actions into your business then you will be amazed at how much your network grows. Remember people are what count, not just another sale or client to add to your list. Make them feel special and let them know you do care. Try picking up the phone today just to say “Hello”
Give of yourself – Most people today think about what they can get from other people, how they can advance in their careers or grow their business. Let’s turn this around and consider what you can give your clients and your network that will help them grow or help them solve a problem. Give from your heart, not expecting in return. You might be amazed at the results. Keep in mind that building relationships is a two way street that begins with you, don’t be greedy and self-absorbed. Always approach relationships in a generous, giving, and positive manner.
Trust – Yes, this is an important one because most people will not do business with anyone they don’t trust. Start your relationships off with being honest, giving what you promised and always keeping your word. First make yourself known to your audience, your network and then you want to build relationships to the highest level of trust. Always work with integrity!
Eye contact – If you are going to be interacting with people in public, make eye contact with them when speaking to them, don’t talk to the clouds or the floor but directly to them. You will be surprised at how you can set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd by simply smiling and making eye contact.
Gift giving – Build stronger relationships with gift giving. I don’t mean this in the sense of trying to buy business or buy new clients, but if you know a client is sick or going through a difficult time simply send them a nice gift or you can send an email or pick up the phone and give them a call to let them know you’re there if they need anything. This action reflects back to the tip above on just being nice. If you were to turn the situation around and you were the one going through a difficult time wouldn’t it be nice to receive a nice email or phone call? Wouldn’t that lift your spirits? Sure it would, so remember to have a giving heart and not expect anything in return but know that you have made someone’s day.
Be yourself – Once again pretty basic. Most people do not like to work with others who are phony. You will get much further in life and be so much happier in just being yourself! The most important part of your identity is just being yourself. When doing business and developing relationships be in the habit of being authentic, it pays and will work to your benefit, plus your not spending the time and energy involved in being something your not. Your clients/potential clients are very intelligent and have a keen sense of perception and they will definitely sense your insincerity. Don’t brand yourself or your company as being fake because it will take sometime to pull yourself out plus it is the wrong foundation to building strong, honest and healthy relationships.
There are numerous ways to build relationships and many of them will tie together, just remember to be nice, pleasant, be yourself, and always work with integrity. Remember to treat your clients the way you want to be treated.