- If you anticipate my needs before I know I need them, I would love you (and buy from you) forever. I went to a hotel recently. It had make-up remover wipes. I had no idea that I needed make-up remover wipes… now I don’t know what I used to do without them. Wouldn’t it be great if your clients didn’t know how they got along without you? Start by anticipating their needs.
- I want to feel included in the process. Find ways for your client to make decisions that are guaranteed to provide a good outcome. For example, if red is the best color for creative, let your client choose from a few pre-selected shades of red.
- I want to feel smart even if my ideas are missing the boat. Sometimes people have a misguided focus on a path that won’t be the best use of their resources. Asking good questions initially, and asking follow up questions based on the client’s answers, provides a great opportunity to discover needs—as well as opportunities to respectfully redirect.
- I always like getting a great deal. Help your client figure out the best pathway to their desired outcome by first defining exactly what that outcome looks like. Making sure you’re addressing the core needs is the best start to providing quality solutions that get results.
- I love examples. Clients hear you telling them, but make sure you are also showing them how you can deliver. Do you have a success story to share? Share it… everywhere. Share someone else’s success story (with appropriate permissions of course) and apply some of the key concepts on your client’s challenges.
- If you tell me to ‘Google it’ I will scream. If you reference online material, make sure to give clients specific web addresses. Double check that hyperlinks in emails, presentations, etc. are working properly.
- I want to feel like we’re friends (but not BFFs). Building relationships with a buyer is important. Try to find the sweet spot between being an outsider and developing a friendship.
- I need to know you’ve got my back. Clients are putting their trust in you and expecting you to deliver. Keeping in touch with clients as key steps of the plan are implemented is a great way to ensure they’ll feel like they’re in good hands.
- I expect to always be your number one client. Keep yourself accessible to clients (via phone, email and also through LinkedIn). Respond in a timely manner, and be reassuring of client decisions with you.
- Don’t make me figure things out. There’s lots of ways to help clients understand new ideas or processes. Start by breaking up the information. Sometimes full sentences aren’t needed and bullet points are easier to digest. Understanding how your client learns is also helpful, as some people want to read more information and others may want to walk through each step over the phone.
- I like doing business with people who respect my time. We’re all busy. Use valid business reasons to add value to communication with your client. Also, keep ‘word fluff’ to a minimum. Tell clients everything they need to know in as few words as possible.
You’re a lot more likely to retain a client long-term if you deliver the specific value they’re seeking. Download the retention checklist and see how you're doing!
Megan Cook is a graphic designer at The Center for Sales Strategy.