Building strong client relationships is essential to having a well-performing and sustainable PR business. A good client relationship might not only pave the road for return business, but it will also result in new business through recommendations and referrals. If you’re looking to build lasting relationships with your client, follow these tips:
This might seem obvious, but a lot of firms tend to get this one wrong. Clients don’t want to work with robots, so acting “too” professional can harm the longevity of your relationship. When it comes to things like being on time, getting the work done and providing professional advice, it’s important to have your professional hat firmly on. However, things like communicating too formally even after several interactions, being overly polite and agreeable and never asking questions can lead to un-authentic relationships that don’t last.
Being authentic, appropriate and respectful in all interactions is key to building rapport. An authentic firm won’t act as a yes-man, but will provide unbiased and well thought out advice that the client will appreciate.
Building rapport also means treating your client as an individual by building a personal connection. Depending on the industry, client and client’s personality, the appropriate level of personal connection will vary. Personal connection can easily be fostered by small talk about their day or what you did over the weekend to get to know each other better.
Share your knowledge
Getting your client involved in the process by just keeping them in the loop can make the client feel more connected to your work and company, especially if they don’t understand your area of expertise. Sharing information and knowledge can build trust and confidence in your firm and your work. This can be done by explaining to the client what specific actions you took, why you took those actions and how you came to your decisions.
Show enthusiasm for the work you do for your client. Even when work you are stressed, it is important that you exude positive energy and zeal. These are positive traits that people enjoy being around. Clients are more likely to want to work with you again and again if you show them a positive face.
Deliver more than expected
If you really want your client to consider you in all their future PR needs and refer you to their friends and colleagues, then exceed their expectations. This means not overselling yourself in the initial stages and setting reasonable and reachable expectations. By doing this, you have opportunity to impress your client by delivering results that exceed what was initially promised, positioning yourself as someone who can get the job done right.
Treat them well
In the process of getting to know your client’s well, find out what is valuable to them and what they appreciate. For instance, your client might really appreciate having a report delivered to them in an aesthetically pleasing format or they might like getting frequent updates. Know what makes them happy and deliver accordingly. Show appreciation for loyal clients by sending a token of appreciation on special occasions, like major milestones or around the holidays.