Managing the needs of your clients and helping them reach their goals can sometimes seem like hitting a moving target. For those running a B2B business, client management is one of the most important areas you could put your time and energy.
But how to make the most of it? If you’re looking to build stronger relationships with your clients in 2019, read on and let Roundee show you how you can ensure you both benefit more than ever this year.
Be clear and transparent
Put yourself in their shoes. Whether you’re in IT, logistics, human resources or law, the services you’re providing could be absolutely essential to the functioning your client’s business. As such, it’s natural that the client could worry about the ability of their business to perform if a key department isn’t providing them the information they need to make properly informed judgements.
Ensuring that you’re being transparent in all things can help head off potential issues well before they arise, allowing you to more effectively work together to your mutual benefit. If you’re vital to a client’s livelihood, act like it – determine what kind of information they need from you and provide it ahead of time and in richer detail than asked for. Make yourself available to your client, leveraging new communication technologies where required to ensure you’re there when they need you. A little preparation and some good habits can make you a truly indispensable part of their business.
Communicate more frequently
A face-to-face chat is always best – nothing compares to the in-person meeting for productivity and relationship building, helping you not just get the job done but create a real rapport with your point of contact. Unfortunately, factors like travel time, schedule clashes and the need for your business to exchange files with your client mean that it isn’t always an option.
If you can’t find the time or the money for frequent in-person meetings, don’t let your client relationships suffer for it. Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the last decade, allowing remote collaboration and communication of a depth that simply didn’t exist in recent years. Many free video conferencing platforms offer the same features and call quality as any paid solution, meaning you can grow your client’s business without committing to substantial ongoing expenses.
Respect the client’s point of view
It’s their business and they’ll run it the way they want. Many service providers find themselves working intimately with the client, often operating as an employee in all but name onsite at their premises. Despite this, it’s vital that you remember that your client is an expert in their business. While you may have been contracted to deliver a service, ensure that you’re always making suggestions and working with reference to their requirements. Taking stock every day and ensuring that what you’re doing is aligned to their goals and requirements is a vital part of working harmoniously and productively with a client.
Identify opportunities, don’t wait for orders
The other end of this is that while you need to be aware of the client’s needs, you don’t need to wait for them to ask for you to create value for them.
If you’ve been entrusted to help build the future of your client’s business, don’t stand around for it. While it’s important that the client’s point of view is always respected, it doesn’t mean you need to sit silent and still until they ask for you. Being proactive and bringing new ideas worth investigating to your client can help make you a true partner to their business, rather than just a simple service provider.