Money can't buy you love, but buy me a beer and I'll pretend to be your friend.
As you're all just back from holidays (not us... we never rest), we thought we'd kick-start our small business blog with a nice easy post.
According to our friends at www.cxrm.co.uk, it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as to keep an existing one... so read on for our '4 tips' for building relationships with clients (You remember those people, right? The ones who pay the bills):-
Build personal relationships. Obvious, maybe, but not everyone does it. Work out who are the decision-makers and influencers in your client, and get to know them - what they are interested in personally. What they're trying to achieve both in their business role and their life outside work. Be nosy, be prepared to share about yourself. Call clients regularly and take an interest in their lives.
Be prepared to help outside the scope of your work. So maybe you're helping your client with a website design. Why not offer to sit in on meetings about his email marketing? Or anything 'off project' - however, remotely connected. Be seen as someone that can be trusted. An extreme example - I once helped a client move house. Primarily because I liked the guy and he offered me a beer. Did end up a major account, though it wasn't quite as scheming as that sounds.
Be available to respond promptly. Show your interest. Particularly for very senior people - it's lonely at the top and leaders and owners get isolated from members of their own team.
- Be able to offer something new. Use everything you've found out from points 1-3 to get ahead of the game. Get prepared. Find solutions and offer them.
Some slightlier weightier articles to follow shortly, now we've eased you back in... (and us, though we weren't away, honest).