How well do you know your clients? – Our top tips on how to cement your client relationships
I am sure that most of you would agree that winning a new client is one of the hardest things about being a freelancer, but when you’ve achieved that difficult step, what can you do to cement your relationship? It goes without saying that doing a good job and offering a great service is the key factor here, but beyond that we look at what you can do to make sure your client remains loyal to you.
One of the most commonly accepted principles regarding new business and the creation of long-term business relationships is that ‘people buy people’ and in the information age that is one thing we shouldn’t forget. So, what can you do to help build your relationship with your client?
- Pick up the phone – while on many occasions’ emails are the most efficient and warranted form of communication, they can be impersonal, and you will start to establish more of a connection to your clients if you speak to them as much as possible.
- Face to Face meetings – This may be a little difficult in a Covid-19 world, but perhaps consider whether you can have socially distanced meetings. If not, then a video call is better than nothing. It is also worth remembering that these don’t necessarily have to be work based meetings either, why not try something social once in a while? – The more face to face contact you have with your clients the better.
- Learn Personal Details – Joe Girard who was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for selling more cars that any other person in history, in fact 12 times as many had one simple trick. Cards. Not only would he send Christmas and Halloween cards etc he would also find out personal details about his customers. When their birthdays were, or other special occasions, such as anniversaries etc. He in fact sent out so many cards (13,000 per month) he had to employ 2 full time assistants whose job was to do, just that. Now, we are not suggesting anything of that scale but the moral of the story here is that it pays to know and acknowledge personal details about your clients.
Add Additional Value to Your Clients
It goes without saying that you doing your job well is the most important factor here. However, have you ever thought about what else you can do for your clients? – As a freelancer, you probably work with various clients in different sectors, but have you ever thought how your clients may help each other? – Let’s say for example, one of your clients is a printing company and another is a law firm. The law firm has some printing requirements, so a great way of adding something extra is to put them together. If you are able to bring your clients new business, then you are providing much more than simply being good at your job. Clients won’t forget the extra value you bring and that creates loyalty to you.
Stay Visible, Relevant and in Touch
Some clients may not require your services on an ongoing basis and your work maybe project based. Sometimes months or even years can go past before the client needs you again. However, during this time, there are a few things you can do to make sure they come back to you.
- Maintain Regular Contact – Anything from a simple email or phone call here or there to popping in for a coffee when you are in the vicinity. Keeping in touch with your client will make sure that you are at the forefront of their mind should they or someone else they know need your skill set.
- Newsletters or Other Communications – Another way that you can stay visible is by emailing out a monthly or quarterly newsletter. Perhaps about interesting and exciting developments in your industry or recent experiences you’ve had. This will also help you to remain and the forefront of your client’s mind and to ensure you are appointed for any future work they may have.
Maintaining a loyal client basis and getting repeat business or warm leads is a much easier way to grow and develop your business, so why not try implementing some of these simple steps and see how they could help you cement your relationships.