Connecting with clients: how building relationships is a mutually beneficial experience
You may think that business is business — as long as it’s coming from somewhere it’s okay. Your sales are up, and that’s what really matters, isn’t it?
Thinking this narrowly about business means you likely aren’t focusing on connection, and connection means more than a transaction. A transaction is temporary and client is for life. And you won’t retain a client without connection.
To put it simply, it’s not enough to generate leads in the world of business.
A transaction may be a way to commence a client relationship, but it won’t’ sustain one for life. Ignoring the relationship side of your business is a big mistake. You must think beyond a single transaction and take a broader perspective; one that includes your whole firm. A transaction may be beneficial to you right now, but a lifelong relationship with a client benefits your whole firm.
Let me explain…
How client relationships benefit you
Connecting with your clients builds loyalty, and that’s something valuable that you need to firmly latch onto within your sales model. Understand that there are two types of clients out there:
- New clients: people who need to use your service, potentially as a one-time experience, and enlist your help for the first time.
- Loyal clients: clients who have used your services more than once, and who are likely to use your services again in the future because they know that you know them and, because of this, you bring greater value with your advice.
New clients will come and go, and that’s not a sound source of revenue. Clients who keep coming back are clients that keep bringing in money to your ledger. Every new client has the potential to become a loyal client, and it’s your responsibility (and that of your firm) to make it happen.
These clients are also valuable when it comes to word-of-mouth business and referrals. If a client is loyal to you, they have the potential to communicate that loyalty to friends and peers. This establishes a relationship thread within a new client that they refer, making it easier for you to retain these new leads and turn them into loyal clients too.
How client relationships benefit your client
One-on-one time with your client is where relationships are forged. Yes, content marketing and thought leadership are two ways you can further connect with them, but that personal connection should always be at the forefront.
It’s impossible to speak directly to one client in a general blog post or with one social media posting. You can speak to general pain points, like certain issues within an industry, but specific clients have specific needs. Connecting with these clients means understanding exactly what they need on a very detailed level. So next time you write a blog, or one of your colleagues does, share it with your client with a personal message. Let them know you thought of them, why it applies to them and how it will benefit them in taking a look.
Clients who feel like you are really considerate of their needs are clients who remain loyal. They feel like their pain points are being considered and taken care of, and they won’t look elsewhere for services unless their needs are suddenly not met.
This brings us to another point: relationship upkeep. It’s not enough to have one conversation with a client and consider things over and done. It’s essential that firms continue to communicate with clients, discussing their needs as they evolve.
When your clients feel like they’re being taken care of, they remain loyal. This loyalty benefits you just as much as it benefits them. How well do you know the needs of your own clients?