With so much time and effort typically required for acquiring new clients, it is no surprise that the same type of attention should be given to nurturing existing relationships. Often an overlooked aspect in sales because of the partiality for securing new customers, maintaining positive client relationships after the win can pose long-term benefits for any company’s overall growth goals.
To best maintain a positive relationship with a current client, it often comes down to one thing: providing them with enduring value. Whether this is through your existing services, positive interactions or simple open communication, keeping clients engaged and consistently working to understand their future needs and offer solutions gives them reasons to stay.
“You need to be strategic so you are viewed as a requirement,” says Scott Moss, principal and founder of M Sales Growth Advisors. “Continuing to provide value puts you in a better position to truly be a partner.”
Once the trust of being a partner is established in a client relationship, it is easier to understand and develop collaborative solutions to meet their goals. Additionally, having insight into a client’s pain points provides opportunities to proactively recommend solutions upfront rather than waiting for them to come to you.
On top of strategic nurturing, closely involving clients in your process can also help build and maintain trust. Regardless of the industry, active and engaged clients usually lead to more successful relationships than those detached from the process.
Whether it’s delivering assets, getting final confirmations, or keeping key stakeholders updated, having to hound clients to keep a process moving forward efficiently can quickly sour a relationship. With this in mind, a great way to avoid a potential communication mishap is to set clear expectations from the beginning.
“By setting expectations, it shows that we know what we are doing,” says Moss. “With a confident and clear-cut approach, everything goes to the appropriate person that needs to be involved. Expectations also need to be clear for accountability purposes so there is never a doubt about who is responsible for what.”
Transparency with a client can go a long way when it comes to providing solutions to fit their needs. Keeping a client closely involved at each step of your process creates less room for misunderstandings, lost interest, or dissatisfaction.
“Clients are more likely to say yes when peripherally being involved in helping define the solution, but it’s also important to not share so much of what happens ‘behind the curtain’ that they think what you’re doing is easy,” says Moss.
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