A business is only as good as the clients it serves. No business gets far by losing clients. One key to our success is building relationships that go beyond one-time projects to provide value to clients on a consistent, ongoing basis.
After 15 years in the Mechanical trade, I have personally learned several factors that make a business successful. Among them, I have learned to broaden my wisdom of knowledge on building and maintaining relationships. This starts inside the business as well as when we interact with clients.
Clients depend on you to keep them informed. Providing regular communications with them is one of your priorities. This includes updating them on various projects, as well as letting them know about any bumps in the road you encounter. There is no such thing as over-communicating.
The more value you offer, the more a client comes to depend on you. Don’t hesitate to share information clients may find useful, whether or not it benefits you in any way. In the same respect, refrain from bombarding them with irrelevant news or gossip, and don’t bother them with offers that won’t interest them. Sometimes, you should only speak when being spoken to, but be careful when applying this method. But speak up to identify issues and share solutions with the client.
No long-term relationship survives if the two parties aren’t honest with each other. Your chief responsibility is to be open and honest in all of your dealings. Today, the client is more educated than ever. You must build a reputation of integrity, or you’ll never be able to cultivate the kind of long-term relationship your business depends on.
Reward Loyal Clients
Clients should be honored for their loyalty and receive the preferential treatment they deserve. Be free with your expressions of gratitude and look for new ways to say “Thank you for your valued business.”
Win with the Client
A client who determines you’re in it for the long haul and motivated to help him or her succeed soon begins to see you as more than just a vendor or supplier. You become a partner in their enterprise and someone they can grow with today, tomorrow, and in the years to come.
Zig Zigler once said, “When your alarm rings in the morning, consider this as another opportunity for you to become successful and to build relationships that benefit your business and yourself.”
The ingredients in “Building Long-Term Relationships and Keeping Them” are communication, being useful, being honest, rewarding loyalty, and being a valued partner to the client. We should all take the time to include them in our work – every day and with every client.
By: Tony Pate, Regional Representative Service Division, TP Mechanical