It can be a big challenge for a start-up business to gain new clients. The business may try hard to attract new leads with costly marketing, branding, and advertising.
Even though you have made the sale, your job is not over yet. If you want your business to be successful in the long term, you need to keep your clients, make them loyal to your brand, and turn them into advocates who will sing your praises to everyone they know.
To be successful in business, you need to make a good impression on everyone who comes in. This means being polite and charming, and doing whatever you can to make their experience a positive one.
And to be successful in managing your client, here are the following effective tips as your guide:
1. Respect Your Client’s Time
Sarah Franklin, co-founder of Bluetree.ai, believes that it is better to under-promise and over-deliver.
“Maintain positive client relationships by under-promising and over-delivering.” This old adage is true and respecting each client’s time is best.
If you make your boss feel like they are always rushed, unimportant, or that you are taking up too much of their time, your relationship with them will start to fall apart. Try to set up some face-to-face time with them so that you can create a human connection.
I make an effort to understand my clients’ needs and concerns before they come up, and use scheduling software that lets me check my calendar and appointments from anywhere. I also stay in touch with my clients so I can respond to their questions and concerns quickly.
Make sure that what you’re saying is relevant to your client, and that you’re being realistic with them.
2. Maintain Positive Relations
Jennifer Phillips, the VP of Marketing & Client Services at Traktek Partners, believes that maintaining positive relations is the key to success.
She believes that having a good relationship with clients is very important for any agency if it wants to be successful. In her experience, communication is the key to having a good relationship.
In addition to communicating openly, being responsive, and being flexible, we use Basecamp to manage projects and clients. This helps us a lot when we have to manage multiple clients.
We use Basecamp as an online repository for files, messaging, contact information, and requests. This allows both our clients and anyone within the agency to access details on the project at any time.
3. Educate Your Clients
Saheen Najeeb, a digital marketing analyst at Fingent, believes in a two-pronged approach. They use the following strategies:
Educate clients through outbound campaign
Clients love to be updated on product changes, new trends in their industry, and changes in your business. Through these campaigns, you can keep them engaged and educate them about your business.
Periodical client service team reach out
It’s important to have your customer service team regularly check in with clients to see what issues they may be facing.
The main purpose of this activity is to get the client’s responses to these questions and empower the service team to triage the customer’s needs/wants and suggest solutions (up-selling).
It will help them to comprehend any potential impediments the client is experiencing which they must address.
4. Make an Employee Act as An Advocate For the Client
Joe Youngblood, the founder of joeyoungblood.com, says that they have spent years perfecting their client management and reporting.
In the past seven years, we have come up with a new way to communicate with our clients that has led to more satisfaction and fewer people leaving.
Currently, sales representatives at our agency are assigned the role of advocate for their respective clients.
This means they can see everything that’s relevant to the client, like current projects, conversations, goals, and metrics.
The sales representative is responsible for maintaining communication between the client and the fulfillment team. This includes asking questions about any areas of concern and addressing any issues that may arise.
The following process occurs without the client seeing it and provides a way for account executives and team leaders to realize that a client might be unhappy which then encourages them to try harder at communicating about these issues.
This process, while not perfect, helps us increase client retention by allowing our internal teams to address concerns before the client expresses them.
5. Learn to Manage Time
“Time management is the most precious and finite resource you and your clients have when you are managing multiple clients,” said Shiv Gupta, CEO of Incrementors Web Solutions. He believes that respecting the client’s time is of the utmost importance.
If you want to build healthier relationships, you have to respect their time. This means setting deadlines to complete projects that are important to both marketers and clients.
Clients may sometimes want things done too quickly, but you must also be practical when figuring out how much time you need to complete them.
It is important to set clear deadlines so that your team knows how much time they have to complete specific tasks.
6. Learn Their Communication Patterns
Andrew Clark, the Marketing Strategist for Duckpin, says that communication patterns vary between different people.
Your communication style with clients should match their natural communication style in order to create rapport. If your client is expressive, you should share information in an expressive way.
If your client is amiable, you should share information in an amiable way. If your client is passive, you should share information in a passive way. If your client is dominant, you should share information in a dominant way.
Would they like to be copied on every correspondence or just the end result? Does your client want to be involved in every small decision or just the big picture? It is your responsibility, not your client’s, to adjust your communication style.
More tactical questions to consider: Does your client prefer long phone calls or short emails? Would they like to be copied on every correspondence or just the end result? Does your client want to be involved in every small decision or just the big picture?
How well does your client stick to their own schedule; knowing this made it easier for me to schedule future meetings.
If you are patient and kind with your client, you will eventually find a way to communicate effectively, despite any differences in communication style.
7. Involve The Client in The Process
Before you start working on a project, Djordje Milicevic from StableWP says that you should involve your client in the goal-setting process.
This way, you both stay on the same page. I prefer to use Pipedrive to manage both leads and existing customers.
This tool helps me to achieve my goals by keeping track of communication, automating repetitive tasks and providing me with reports.
I see and address a client’s needs before they know they exist.
8. Establish With a New Client
The first step to building any lasting relationship is ensuring that both parties are on the same page, and are committed to the same goals. Next, both parties need to be willing to put in the effort required to make things work. Finally, effective communication is key to keeping any relationship healthy and strong.
You need to build trust with a new client in order to have a successful relationship. They should feel confident that you will do a good job with their project.
If your client has confidence in your abilities and trusts that you will communicate honestly, they will be more likely to work together to solve problems.
If you make your client distrustful or give off an air of insecurity, they will always be suspicious of your work, no matter how great it is.
Here Are Some Ways to Establish Trust Quickly:
Make sure to show the client your previous work so that they are aware of your experience and confidence. By doing this, you increase the chances of them hiring you for the job.
Show your potential clients testimonials from your previous clients to help build trust.
When sending emails, it is important to communicate in a professional manner. Be friendly, but do not go overboard with informality until it is appropriate to do so in the relationship. Use your social intuition and mirror their level of formality.
honesty and transparency are always the best policy when communicating with clients, even if you anticipate challenges like inexperience or delays. Once you’ve been caught in a lie, it will be very difficult to establish trust again.
The early interactions between you and your client are very important. Creating a good first impression will help to establish a good relationship with your client and make your project more successful.
9. Manage Client Expectations on a Project
One way to manage client expectations is to have a contract that covers all aspects of the project, including time frames and costs.
The internal scope management plan is important to keeping the team on track. The tips in Chapter 3: Project Management & Planning can help with this.
Even when precautions are taken, client expectations can cause problems.
and demands being placed on you and your team The client has invested a lot of money into this project and wants to get the most out of it. This can sometimes lead to them feeling very passionate and making lots of demands on you and your team.
Many clients will not read the contract details carefully, and will try to get more work done than what was agreed upon. Some clients may not realize how limited your resources are. Others may get caught up in the excitement of the project.
Often, a client’s expectations will go beyond what you can deliver. Therefore, you need to learn how to politely and professionally say no to unrealistic expectations.
Dealing With Unreasonable Client Requests
It is important to be careful when managing expectations so that you do not overpromise what you or your team can deliver. Saying no to some requests or revisions may be necessary in order to avoid getting overwhelmed and deliver a high-quality product.
Although it is important to maintain the scope of the project, automatically saying no to everything outside of that scope can cause problems. Pat Brans, a professional consultant, remembers an instance when he started pushing back too hard and the negative consequences that followed.
According to Brans, it was difficult to do his job properly because his clients were intimidated by his tendency to say no to their requests. Without open communication, he often misinterpreted their requirements or failed to understand their business issues.
It’s important to know the difference between a reasonable client request and an unreasonable one. This will help you manage expectations.
A reasonable client request is one that is easy to implement and benefits the final product, without costing you extra time or money.
Or an extra task they’re happy to pay for.
A difficult or unreasonable request from a client is one that would take up a lot of your time, is not something you are obligated to do according to your contract, goes against what you think is best as a professional, or wouldn’t improve the final result.
How To Say NO To a Client Request
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to push back on a request, first make sure that the request is unreasonable. Once you have determined that, you can respond to the individual.
Keep in mind that saying no can be difficult, even for those who are experienced. Because of this, it is important to have this conversation in a way that is respectful.
Here Are Some Tips For Saying ‘No’ to Unreasonable Client Requests:
Listen to what they have to say and try to understand the business reasoning behind their request before making a decision.
If the client’s idea isn’t going to work, it is important to provide them with your professional opinion. Explain why the idea is not beneficial to them and their business, providing evidence from previous examples. It is essential to remind the client that you have their best interests at heart.
- If their request lies outside the scope of the contract, point out the exact part of the agreement. Explain the cost of adding this work on, and what fees will be incurred based on the value of your time.
- If you simply don’t have the resources to fulfil their request; be honest. Explain why you don’t have the capacity – then offer helpful advice or alternatives based on their needs.
- If their request is going to delay another aspect of the project – explain this clearly. You might ask them to weigh up their priorities, and only go ahead if they’re willing to sacrifice a different component. It’s all about compromise.
It is important to be careful and have a calm, reasonable approach when setting expectations for clients.
At times you may need to compromise, while other times it will be better not to. The key is to explain the reasoning behind your decision.
If a client’s needs are not being met, it will reflect poorly on your business. If you want your business to be successful, you need to take client management seriously. Your clients will help grow your business; if one is satisfied, they will automatically bring more to your agency. If a client’s needs are not being met, it will reflect negatively on your business.
If you have not already done so, now is the time to focus on consumer relations and provide quality services to your clients. You can use one of the many available client management tools, or you can create your own.
It’s important that you evaluate the quality of your service and work to improve it.