You have strong relationships with your clients. However, you could still stand to enhance those relationships and build new ones with people with whom you are just starting to connect. It is a great way to grow your business.
In this day and age of innovative and fast-paced technology, connecting with people online is easier and easier and and there are so many benefits to having a great volume of information at your fingertips. Building and enhancing relationships with your clients is critical and there are many ways to do that successfully.
Have a solid agreement with clients
It is essential to have a solid agreement with your clients regarding what is expected of them and of you. That includes the work flow, milestone deliverables, etc. If there is transparency and everyone does their part wholeheartedly, the relationship that you share with your clients will be successful. Having the roles mapped out clearly will cause your client to view you in a very positive light.
Work on the relationship
Relationships, just like any living, breathing thing, need to be cultivated. It is important to spend quality time and serious effort really getting to know one another. The fact is that you will be spending a great deal of time with your clients and it really behooves you to make the most out of that time. Relationships work if, and only if, the two people are able to connect on an emotional level. With that in mind, it is perfectly fine to delve a little into the personal. Possibly, find out what they enjoy doing, etc.
Ask the right questions
When you ask the right questions (the most appropriate ones and the right number of questions), you learn a great deal of valuable information about your clients. At the same time, you should also allow them to ask you questions so that they can get to know you better as well. Solid interaction with mutual respect will really take you far.
Don't be afraid to decline
There are times when requests from clients are out of line and you shouldn't hesitate to push back and decline if you feel that it is something that you don't want to do. You shouldn't be afraid of the consequences. In many cases, everything will still work out fine. Of course, if the request is reasonable, you should, at least, consider honoring it.
Agree under the proper circumstances
If your client has a request and you can make it happen, you should try to do that. It is all part of managing your client and his or her expectations. You should never merely decline in principle. If you do manage to give the client the majority (if not all) of what is requested, your client will undoubtedly be appreciative and that will certainly strengthen your relationship.
WIIFM (What's In It For Me?)
When it comes to your client's needs, it is critical that you put them before your own needs. It doesn't matter how wonderful you and your business happen to be. All that matters is that you successful at solving the problems of your client.
Give a clear understanding that you want to learn
It is extremely important that you show humbleness to your clients. You never want to come across as arrogant or conceited. You can always learn new things as long as you are open-minded. You are not the only person who can teach others.
Enhancing your client relationships is critical to the success of your business. The stronger and deeper your relationships are with your cllients, the more you will be able to advance your business. Without strong relatiionships with clients, you won't be able to accomplish anything.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).