When it comes to business, some of THE most important people you have are your clients. Clients are what keep your business going. They provide you with tasks and services that you need to complete while paying you a monetary fee in return. The dream is to have as many clients as possible that you have a great relationship with so you can continue to make money and fulfill “The American Dream”. However, everyone once started out completely client-less. Everyone has to start somewhere. So really what is more important than having a lot of clients is getting your first client. This may feel like a daunting task with a lot of pressure, but it can be very rewarding when you do it correctly.
When dealing with new clients, there are degrees of trust from both sides. The client is trusting you that you will be able to meet their needs and make sure that you have their best interest at heart. You on the other hand are trusting the client that they will work with you in order to help you understand exactly what they want. It can be difficult to know exactly what they want since they have their own very specific vision in their head. The book gives eight examples on how to establish strong relationships with your clients. The first step is to put yourself in your client’s shoes. Try to empathize with what they are feeling and try to get an understanding of where they are coming from at their own company. Next, find out what a real win looks like for your client. Try to get context about the project that they are working on and what their goals are with the project. What is their ideal end goal for the project? What would it look like in a perfect world. Once you establish that, then you will be able to either look at places that may need to be a little more practical or see how close to perfect you can actually get. Third, Suggest changes to your deliverables if necessary. This ties in with the last one by telling them the best possible outcome. Fourth, Show them your commitment. Let them know that you are all in and committed to making their vision a reality. Next, take responsibility in getting your point across. Make them the center of focus for the project. Make them feel safe to ask questions and focus on communicating what is important for them. Next with step six, tailor your message to the client. Let them know that you are just here to make the process of creating their vision much smoother and that it ultimately is up to them. Number Seven is to demonstrate integrity. Make sure that you follow through on every promise you make, send follow-up emails, proactively inform them about what is coming up and what is currently going on with their project. Finally, the last step is to deliver. Make sure that you completely finish what you promised and deliver them as close as possible to what they requested. This will be one of the most important parts of them wanting to come back in the future with other projects.
Client relations can be stressful, especially when those clients are new. They can either make or break you as a manager. The one thing that it all boils down to is whether or not they think you genuinely care. The advantage that humans have over robots in these kinds of jobs is that we have the ability to show empathy and emotions. This is what gives us the ability to really truly make the clients happy.