LISTEN TO THEM CAREFULLY
This is the first one and the most important one. You need to learn how to listen carefully in business, more than any other walk of life. Take the time to get to know your client and what it is they are trying to achieve.
Make sure that you actually listen to what it is that they are saying and not what it is that you think that they might want.
Attention to detail is not just a courtesy, but an absolute lifeblood of many of a project.
We can probably all think of some time that we messed up, either at work or in our personal lives because we missed some essential point out, which then turned out to be the most important bit. Sometimes with disastrous consequences!
In business you have to learn to listen carefully first and speak second. Of course, you need to ask questions and make sure you have gotten everything down correctly before you begin your preparation.
If you’ve made any sort of mistake, it is best to let them know unless it can be immediately rectified. You need to keep the channels of communication between you and your client very much open. Don’t disappear for hours, days or even weeks on end. People like to know you are still there and still taking their concerns seriously. And listening hard to everything they tell you.
The devil is in the detail after all!
TREAT THEM LIKE A STAR
Cherish your clients in the same way you would do if a rock star or A list celeb came into the room.
Show them some courtesy. Make sure you stand up when they enter. If they call, make sure you handle the call and don’t put them on hold for too long or fob them off with some excuse. The same goes for web communications, reply to emails and messages promptly.
Make sure you look and sound genuinely pleased to see them at all times, even if they are difficult to deal with sometimes.
Give them rock star treatment and make sure they are attended to. This sounds very basic stuff – and it is – but it often surprises me to this day how some companies still take their clients for granted or even treat them with something bordering on contempt.
GIVE AWAY SOMETHING FOR FREE
If your client has spent a lot of money with you, or has purchased more than one amenity from you, what about bundling a package of services together and offering them at a discount?
Loyalty should be rewarded, otherwise your client may find reasons to shop about and go elsewhere. So repeat business clients need to be sweetened with money off deals or vouchers for something free.
A trial or taster service or product is always a good idea to retain customers for a long term relationship.
OFFER A PERSONAL SERVICE
Everyone likes the personal touch and no-one likes to think that they are just another number on a sheet. If you know there is something that you can do for your client that will help them, even if that means offering something off the peg, that isn’t strictly on your list of services then you should do it.
Wherever possible you should be looking to tailor your package, product or service for the exact requirements of your client.
A personal service is often cited as the one thing that gets customers re-booking and reordering with a firm.
And finally… smile!
Your client wants you to be interested in them as people, not just as walking dollar signs.
When you are speaking; sound enthused about your product, your business, their business and them as people.
Remember, you are dealing with people as human beings firstly and foremost and making and selling things, second!