Delivering value to your client really boils down to perspective. Not so much yours, as it does theirs. Understanding your client, his or hers business needs, industry, market environment, stakeholders, successes, losses, will create more opportunities for engagement beyond the initial “pitch and close”. If you can truly listen and respond to your client indiscriminately, it will almost guarantee your place on the Indispensable Wall of Fame. Over the next few articles I’m going to discuss a few tips to help get you there.
Value over Volume
Every how-to guide ever written on improving client relationships seems to agree on the same strategy: communicate…and communicate often! Besides, the opposite approach, driven by some false notion that “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”, does not play out quite the same way in client relationships. In fact, in the client’s mind, the old adage reads more like, “Absence makes the heart…go yonder”…as in far away from your business and on to the next one that can be more responsive to their needs.
While we can agree that your client interactions should be frequent, and go beyond reaching out for re-ups and renewals, or to sell the latest product, we encourage you to choose value over volume, always! If your communications to your client read more like a twitter feed than coordinated, conscientious, appropriately-timed messages, then you’re probably setting yourself up for impending doom. Not only will you run the risk of stretching your bandwidth to dangerously high levels, but you can push your client into tuning out both you and your messages, completely.
Find that line between asset and annoyance and make sure you’re on the right side of it!
Watch out for my next article where I’ll talk about a common mistake among service providers, over relying on your technical skills.
– Part 2 in this series: Technical Skills can only Take you so Far
– Part 3 in this series Managing Client Expectations
– Part 4 in this series Build Unbreakable Bonds
– Part 5 in this series Be Present