Sometimes the grind of day-to-day projects paired with the constant task of keeping up with your clients’ ever-changing needs can be an overwhelming feeling. Although you may want to throw in the towel at times, the relationships you build and maintain with your clients can be extremely rewarding, both personally and professionally. Here are some tips to help foster your growing client relationships, even when you feel weighed down:
- Be positive - You have good days, and you have bad days, but the important thing is to avoid falling into a rut when you have a particularly rough one. Similarly, your clients also have challenging days. If they hit a roadblock and contact you, it’s your job to be able to calm them down and walk them through the necessary steps to find a solution. Don’t fall into the black hole with them!
- Make time - No one wants to feel like a burden or as if someone isn’t really focused on them in the moment when they need to be heard. Make sure to schedule specific times for a client meeting instead of having them stop by or call whenever. That way, you can prepare for and get out any other priority tasks for the day so that they can have your full attention.
- Be personable - Another important point is to have the right balance of small to shop talk. Use the small talk to get to know each other better and to have things other than the weather to talk about, but make sure that you’re respectful of their time and realize when it’s time to switch gears and get down to business.
- Set goals together - Have you ever felt like your client all of a sudden starts asking for things that seem way out of left field? It’s important to start on the same page from day one and develop outcomes that you’d both like to see so that you’re working together toward the same thing. No one wants to be blindsided when the outcome is not as they expected!
- Be transparent - As cliché as it sounds, the sentiment still rings true. While it’s tempting to put an ultra-polished version of yourself at the forefront of your business, it’s important to still keep your real personality intact. That means not sugarcoating the facts and being able to ‘fess up when mistakes happen. While we’d all like to be perfect when it comes to our work, your clients will understand that you’re only human, which in turn only makes you more relatable.
At the end of the day, clients are people, just like you. When you work together to produce a mutually beneficial product on time, everybody wins.