Seven Tips to Build Long-Lasting Relationships with Your Clients
By Matt Insley
Building rapport is essential for anyone that interacts with clients. Sometimes, especially early in the relationship, it could be daunting and nerve-wracking as you feel out your new client for what they are like. Here are some helpful tips and tricks that you can try to help strengthen the relationships you have with your clients.
Treat Them Like a Friend
As time goes on, your comfort level with clients should grow, but try treating them like a friend right off the bat to expedite things. People feel more comfortable around their friends than strangers and it is always harder to fire your friends!
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Yourself
Some clients can be intimidating, but authenticity and warmth can win over almost anyone. Keep it professional but talk with them like someone you have known for years.
Make Idle Chit Chat
Don’t jump immediately into business on each call. Try spending the first few minutes of each conversation talking about something other than their account like kids, pets, sports… really anything!
Make a Connection
A common bond will immediately kick your relationship up a notch. You can find something in common with almost anyone. Whether, it’s sports, food, wine, travel, finding this common connection will help personalize your relationship. Once, I found that one of my new clients owned a summer home ten minutes from where I grew up. Guess what was the first thing I mentioned on our kickoff call?
Talk About Topics They Care About
Make mental notes about things your client says. Where they went to school, if they have kids, what they like doing in their spare time. These can help you understand more about the things they may value and provide fodder for future conversations.
Acknowledge Mood Changes
If you have a normally care-free client and they suddenly seemed stressed, say “Hey, you don’t seem like yourself today. Is something up? Is there anything we can do to help?” It may be nothing but asking could go a long way in building the relationship.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Asking open-ended questions can add to the flow of conversation, whereas yes or no responses could be a conversational dead-end. Instead of asking “Do you think our program is going well?” ask “What do you think about our program?”
Whatever you do, be sure to bring your unique personality to your client conversations. Using these tips and tricks will help you feel a little less nervous when speaking with a client for the first time. Remember to be yourself and act confidently and your relationships will grow and continue to flourish the more you engage with your customers!
About the Author:
Matt is an Account Director at ChoiceLocal. He has been helping businesses of all sizes with their digital marketing for the past 12 years. When not speaking with clients, Matt enjoys being a #girldad to his two daughters, walking his pug and cooking.