As an independent professional, you may be accustomed to focusing your resources on finding new business and customers. However, new projects don’t always result in more or new clients. Instead, you should focus on building and maintaining strong relationships with your current clients. This is what helps set you up for repeat business. Even if a client doesn’t come back to you in the future, they may recommend you to someone they know, which provides benefits.
As you build your business, it is important to learn how to build and maintain these client relationships, according to Will Johnson of The Harris Poll. Keep reading to learn more about building and maintaining client relationships.
Invest Time into Regular Contact
One of the easiest ways to maintain a strong relationship is by ensuring good communication. It is important to get in the habit of contacting your clients regularly. Productive and prompt communication can help build your business reputation.
This communication doesn’t have to be big. It can be small, such as interacting via social media or planning dinners and events with your clients or partners. With good communication, you will know what your client needs and help to build trust between you, which helps you better meet their needs with ongoing discussion and contact.
Always be Authentic
This may seem simple, but you need to be who you are and accept others for who they are. While it may be easy to create a false or fake persona, especially when you are online, this isn’t the way to begin any business relationship.
Take time to find companies and people you have a natural connection with, and that communication comes easy. Authenticity will help to accelerate any business relationship.
Keep a Positive Attitude
As a professional in the business world, you have several responsibilities. While you may feel overwhelmed or stressed, you still need to remain positive when around clients. Show the confidence and energy you want your clients to feel and sense about your work and services. Attractive personality traits like zeal and enthusiasm will be something your clients appreciate and want to be around.
Keep Your Word
It takes just a second to make a promise to someone. The question is, do you have the resources and time to follow through with this promise? If you want to ensure your business relationships are fruitful and positive, be sure you fulfill any promise you make. If you fail to do this, your relationships will begin to suffer because clients will begin to lose trust in you. Transparency and honesty are sought after when forming a bond with a business client. You will become a more attractive connection if you can nurture these traits with your existing business relationships.
Identify Shared Values and Goals
It is natural to seek out people in life who have similar values and goals. Are they honest, helpful, knowledgeable, and kind? How do they treat other people? This all relates to their moral character.
Some people may try to present themselves in one way just to take advantage of someone after they have gained their trust. While you may not always have the same perspective as everyone else, having shared values is a must.
Acknowledge Each Client as an Individual
While the relationship you have with a client is a professional one, it is still important to acknowledge that you see them as an individual and a person, more than just your next paycheck. This is something that can go a long way.
Your industry, client’s personality, and client type will dictate the extent of personal connections. For example, if you know a client has children, you can ask how their kids are. For closer relationships with clients, emailing news articles about something they enjoy may be beneficial and appreciated.
Develop a Sense of Mutual Respect
This is something that takes time unless, of course, they are referred to you by someone they trust. You can prove yourself through time and through different experiences and activities. Consider joining an online community, professional group, or chamber, which all provide you the perfect arena to begin developing business relationships. Be selective and patient and watch others in action. Building mutual respect is necessary to grow business relationships.
Building Lasting Business Relationships
If your goal is to build and maintain lasting business relationships, be sure to keep the information above in mind. This will help you get the long-term, long-lasting relationships that you need to ensure your business’s success both now and in the future.
Remember, the clients you have now may transform into repeat clients and provide you with referrals. This is invaluable for any business. Because of this, it is smart to learn how to build and maintain business relationships, as this is going to help ensure your ongoing success.