Learning how to navigate and successfully work with clients can be tricky, but when done well it can benefit your business by increasing trust with your clients, reinforcing a positive reputation for your company, and creating a smoother process for every project you work on.
Client management is as easy as you make it! Listed below are some tips I’ve found helpful to get you started:
- Being organized is the foundation of client management. By keeping track and up-to-date on the status of projects, you’re not only helping yourself, but you’re keeping your client in mind.
- Be mindful of building a lasting relationship with your client. If you work hard at sustaining a healthy relationship, instead of always focusing exclusively on what you can deliver, conversation will flow easier between you and your client. This is important to establish trust and in turn, your client will feel comfortable asking questions and delegating tasks.
- Listen to your client. Get a clear understanding of your client’s needs and interests. This can only happen if you’re a good listener.
- Always create and send an agenda before each meeting or phone call to outline your meeting’s goals and objectives clearly. Then be prepared the review it before your meeting.
- Get to know your client’s expectations and goals. This will help you develop an understanding of what they’re trying to accomplish and can help you provide more strategic guidance.
- Honesty is the best policy. Fulfill your commitments in a timely manner and if you’re unable to meet a deadline, be proactive and communicate that to your client. Being up front about the status of a project will further establish trust between you and your client.
- Kill them with kindness! Having an attitude can strain your relationship.
- It’s okay to say, “I don’t know, but I can definitely find out for you,” when a client asks you a question or during an interview.
- Don’t always rely on email to get your message across. Instead, pick up the phone. Email is efficient, but that personalized interaction can go a long way (especially with those clients who prefer speaking directly, rather than over email).
I used to shy away from talking to clients. But the tips I’ve listed here helped me become comfortable and confident talking to clients and collaborating on projects. My final and favorite tip is to stay positive. Have a positive outlook on all your ventures with your client and convey that through email or over the phone. It’s also just a great mantra to have in life. In Willie Nelson’s eyes:
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
Go ahead and get started!