It is well-known that a successful business relies on developing and nurturing customer relationships.
That’s why so many successful businesses focus on building solid relationships with their clients.
To develop these relationships, however, you need to establish trust and confidence with your clients.
A great client relationship isn’t about padding your portfolio; it’s about being trusted partners in each other’s businesses’ success.
Some of the critical requirements for this relationship to flourish includes:
- Being straightforward and honest with your clients.
- Not sugarcoating things.
- Informing them about your business and what they can expect from you.
- Not just focusing on the business at hand.
- A person-centered approach to business.
We will discuss each point individually.
Being Straightforward And Truthful
If you are straightforward with your clients and tell them what’s on your mind, you’ll have a much better chance of building a strong relationship with them.
Nevertheless, there are times when you should be honest with someone and times when you should keep those cards close to your chest.
While you don’t want to give away the secrets that make your business better than the competition, you do need to make sure that you are giving them the correct information and, most importantly, managing expectations.
Being straightforward means that you are upfront and honest when working with clients about what you can and cannot do for them.
Clients will appreciate your honesty, and your time will be better spent focusing on things you can control.
Transparency is a valued commodity in the world of client relationships, and if you can’t be straightforward with your clients, they will pick up on it, and you may not end up with repeat customers.
By informing them about your business’s fee and how you will process the invoice, you ensure your clients won’t get a surprise when they receive the invoice.
Software such as Payt enables you to create professional invoices and powerful features to deliver them once the work has been completed.
Prompt invoice delivery is crucial to keep your business’ cash flow in positive territory.
Client expectations are one of the biggest challenges of any business relationship, and they’re especially important in creative fields where clients view your work as a product.
When managing expectations, the primary thing you need to do is set realistic expectations for your business.
If you set unreasonable expectations of your clients, then you will end up driving them away. One of the best ways to do this is to create a contract that states what level of service you can provide.
By doing this, you will be able to communicate to your clients what they can receive. You should also make sure that you stick to the expectations that are listed on the contract.
Relationships with clients are essential but can be very difficult to maintain when you cannot manage your expectations.
Don’t Sugarcoat Your Offering
Sugarcoating is a slippery slope.
Businesses sometimes mistakenly feel that their job is to “Get the client what he wants,” when in reality, they should focus on helping clients get what they need.
By sugarcoating your ideas, you tend to develop solutions that meet your client’s immediate needs but do not address their long-term needs.
If you give your client what they want, you will forever be chasing them around rather than the other way around.
You want your clients to know they hired your business because of its expertise and that after a thorough consultation, they should follow your suggestions.
Your clients’ needs need to be understood, but this should be part of the conversation you both have at the beginning of the project.
You may also have a clear expectation of payment and how and when you expect to be paid. You can let your client know that payment must be prompt once you have sent your invoice letter.
You can inform them upfront that you are happy to provide a grace period, but once that period has expired, you will begin to add on late fees for unpaid bills.
Payment is often overlooked in client work, and many businesses feel awkward talking about it. Nevertheless, you should not feel this way because you deserve to be paid for your work, and unpaid bills can accumulate if they aren’t addressed.
If your client continually changes the goalposts during the work, it may be time to speak with them and remind them of the agreed plan.
In any case, you could be setting yourself up for a severe problem if you sugarcoat what you have to offer and its results. If your sugarcoating is particularly egregious, you may find yourself in court for failing to reach the desired outcomes you both agreed on.
Being Unfocused In Your Application
Like every successful business, if you want to be successful with your goals, you need to stay focused.
It would be best if you focused on the big picture, don’t focus on the small stuff that’s not important.
When you focus on the big picture, the smaller things will fall into place.
On the other hand, this point depends on whether you are a sole proprietor or a small to medium enterprise. If you have employees, you should utilize their skills and avoid micromanaging.
By sticking to an agreed-upon plan and being proactive in executing it, you will find that projects will become far easier to manage.
Once clients can see your progress and consistently hit your targets, they will feel more confident about spending their money and may even recommend you before the work is done.
Be Humble And People-centric
As a company owner, you know how important it is to build trust with clients.
Being humble ensures you treat your clients with the same level of respect you would give yourself.
This helps you build lasting relationships with clients, which in turn helps your business grow.
It is by being humble that people get ahead in this world. The world runs on mutual respect, and if you cannot receive respect, you cannot give it.
The saying “It is better to give than to receive” is not just a platitude; it is accurate, and it is the secret of being successful in business.
The best way to get ahead in business, and life, is to play the long game.
A little humility can go a long way in creating personal relationships with clients.
By treating them as real people, rather than focusing only on the money aspect, you will understand their needs better and therefore be better able to provide a solution for them.
When you change your attitude into this mindset, you will increasingly find that what you thought would be one-off client work turns into repeat business over time.
The customer is often right, but what makes a business successful is when the company is successful enough to meet the customer’s needs.
The customer is the king, and to keep them coming back; you have to offer them something to retain them.
Success is measured by how much money you generate and how much you manage to save in the business world.
What makes a business successful is determined by so many different factors that there is no real way to predict it.
Interesting Related Article: “5 Ways To Treat Your Best Clients“