Building and maintaining client relationships are key components in the business world. Whether it’s a small business or an international corporation, acquiring and fostering long-lasting partnerships with customers is essential to the success of a company.
By communicating openly and honestly with clients, interactions become more personal, allowing you to work together as friends rather than just customers. Providing the best work efficiently and on time are some of the basics when it comes to building a relationship, but it goes far beyond that to create a lasting network of clients. In this week’s blog, we talk about some basic things that have helped GRIT over the last 10 years.
- Be on Point—Always
- Communicate Openly and Effectively
- Always Meet Deadlines
- Be Yourself
Be On Point—Always
From the first moment you speak to a prospective client, it is critical to take notes and follow-up with a clear outline of goals and expectations related to the project. If a client is being too vague about their objectives or specifications regarding a project, ask questions. The sooner a detailed project outline is established, the sooner both parties can see how it will unfold and if there is anything missing or “off-point.”
Communicate Openly and Effectively
Communication is key in every aspect of life, and it is especially critical in work and business relationships. From email to social media, to phone calls or even old-fashioned snail mail—making yourself available for clients is a must. A prompt, polite response builds trust and maintains a strong working relationship.
Speaking of trust, you can build on that trust by offering additional help and support outside of the specific service or product they hired you to do. As you get to know your clients better, you’ll likely discover other areas where you can help, by applying your skills and knowledge. Share your wisdom any chance you can! By doing this for free, you’ll boost client confidence, potentially leading to additional projects.
Taking it a step further, beyond sharing skills and knowledge with clients, it’s also helpful to share contacts. Your clients likely contract work from various vendors for difference services. If you can link them up with your trusted contacts to provide these needed services, your clients will gain additional confidence in your advice. And hey, the networking may be reciprocated when your client links you up with their contacts who are looking for services or products you offer.
Always Meet Deadlines
This is a must. Getting work finished and delivered on time is essential to maintaining client relationships. Laying out a timeline that lists deliverable dates for both the client and yourself, helps to keep each project on track and also set expectations. Also, be sure to be realistic in what you promise. Putting unrealistic expectations on your team executing the job sets everyone up for failure. If details aren’t your thing—there are numerous software packages available to help with time tracking, allowing you to honor your commitments. At GRIT, our mantra when it comes to timelines is “under promise and over deliver” always.
This is tried and true. You’ve heard it since you were little, right? Be yourself, and you’ll be just fine. When you’re open and honest about your capabilities and skill set, along with how long it will take to get things done, you’ll hit the mark every time. If you mislead clients about what you can do for them, or how long it will take, there will be disappointment. The relationship will likely fail, and that word-of-mouth all businesses rely on, will backfire.
Lastly, at GRIT, we take great pride in knowing many of our clients have chosen us year-after-year. One example is Yoe Industrial Services who just launched their second website with GRIT! They’ve been a long-time partner, working with us on video projects, logo designs, sell sheets, case studies and other marketing collateral. When it comes to the website builds, a lot has changed through the years, but one thing has remained the same—the relationship it takes to put all the pieces together. It requires trust, respect and teamwork and we appreciate our ongoing relationship (and friendship) with the team at Yoe.
At GRIT Marketing Group, we’re passionate about what we do. We like engagement, collaboration—and most importantly, building long-term relationships. We (GRIT and our clients) are a team…and we make great things happen through teamwork. Please give us a shout if you’re looking for a partner in your marketing efforts. We’d love to meet you!