Two Keys to Building Successful Client Relationships
Many businesses strive to create and maintain successful client relationships. Why? Because this is key to success. A business with good standing and relationship with its clients can and will more likely succeed than businesses who fail to build and maintain such client relationships. But doing so is much easier said than done.
While not exactly rocket science, building successful client relationships is much harder and more complicated. This is because it involves people, and money -- two things guaranteed to increase the likelihood of complication of any situation.
At the same time though, building successful client relationships is not impossible.
In fact, there are two keys to building and maintaining successful client relationships: the ability to listen more than you speak, and the eagerness to approach every interaction as an opportunity to learn.
What Does It Mean to Listen More Than You Speak?
This is perhaps the best phrase to use to capture the feeling of listening more and speaking less.
When dealing with customers and clients, it’s important that we be present in the conversation. However, we have to make sure that the conversation is less about you and your business, and more about their concerns and how they want their problems solved by your business.
Another added benefit is that the client or customer feels like you value them. They will appreciate the gift of a listening ear. This is makes them feel validated and understood. This allows you to forge a more personal bond with your client and customers, which is an especially powerful tool in both sales and building relationships.
Finally, when it is your time to speak, your words are more likely to carry more weight and reverberate.
Think of it as the law of supply and demand. Because the conversation is mostly one-sided in favor of your clients and customers, when you do share your opinion, you don’t have to make one point over and over.
While this isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t talk, because your customers and clients need to know your thoughts too. However, by spending more time listening than speaking, you’ve allowed a bond to be created that, when you do so speak, the other party is more likely to listen closely to whatever it is you have to say.
How Do You Use Every Interaction as a Learning Opportunity?
With businesses, your daily interactions will vary wildly from each other. Sometimes, it’s interesting. Others, it’s pleasant. There’ll also come times when an interaction with a client or customer will make you sad, angry, or just generally rub you the wrong way. There’ll also be interactions when, even though it wasn’t necessarily bad, it wasn’t good either, and it didn’t go exactly the way you planned.
When dealing with clients, it’s important that identify these types of interactions and use them as a learning opportunity.
Ask yourself, what did a particular client or customer do that made you feel good or bad? Was it intentional? What small gesture made you feel alarmed? What small deed did they do that made you happy? Why do you feel that the conversation went badly overall?
Remember, relationships, in general, are built on interactions and how you react to them.
Building Successful Client Relationships
You never stop building successful client relationships. Even with clients you’ve had a long history with, you’ll still need to constantly work at improving your relationships and strengthening the bond that you two have created.
But before you go there, you need to know how to build successful client and customer relationships first.
Learning how to speak less and listen more, as well as learning from any and all interactions, are keys to doing just that. Because, if you can make customers feel validated and welcomed, while at the same time, avoiding doing things that, as per your experience, leads to negative outcomes, you’re already well on your way to building a lasting relationship with your clients and customers.