Client Advocacy – Balancing What Your Firm Can Do With What The Client Needs
Want to do right by your client, but need to stay in business? All truly great service companies want to offer all they can to make the client successful; after all, their success is your success. So how much can you give your clients and still stay in business? I say you can give it all away and increase your companies worth time and time again. Here are a few tips to get you going in the right direction.
- Genuinely make a connection – Look for opportunities to build a relationship, not opportunities to make a sale. If the relationship is fostered on an honest connection, no matter where your client goes, the business will follow.
- Listen for the challenges the client faces – Take a walk in their shoes. What pressures do they face? What does their management want from them? What is preventing them from meeting those needs? Whether it is efficiency, reducing risk, or managing/reducing cost, everyone faces challenges.
- Deliver what you promise – Whether it’s calling as promised or developing and implementing a multi-phase manufacturing process half a world away… deliver. Once you make the connection with a client, they need to know they can count on you.
- Accept client feedback – For all things good and bad, listen. Take what the client gives you openly and sincerely; no matter how it’s delivered.
- Become a trusted partner – Once you show the client you have their interests at the forefront of business, they will look for your input. Join in on strategic meetings, provide support for internal standards, be a wealth of knowledge for them. Just as important, introduce them to your network and share your resources.
- Stay visible – Make sure to reach out for both business and personal touch points. Send an article that you believe they would find interesting. Meet up for a friendly lunch, and let them pay if they have the notion; if you pay, don’t bill them for the lunch!
Remember, not everything is for sale. All the intangibles mentioned here build relationships, make connections, and just make good business.
This blog was written by John Logsdon, Engagement Manager at Trindent Consulting. He has experience establishing and implementing highly effective Hydrocarbon Measurement Programs.