The success of any agency is heavily reliant on the continual development and growth of its client base, and it’s no different here at Branded3. For the Client Services team, developing client relationships that stand the test of time is a crucial aspect of our role.
Building long lasting business relationships requires considerable time and effort. That said, all this time is worth the effort as developing and harnessing these relationships can lead to successful projects, increased sales, further connections, and word-of-mouth referrals.
By following the tips below, you’ll be well on your way to forging long-lasting relationships with all your existing and future clients.
Tell the truth. They say romantic relationships don’t survive when there’s a lack of trust, and business relationships are no different.
Long-lasting business relationships only occur when clients have complete trust in the suggestions you make, in everything you promise, and in everything you say.
Most people can spot a liar, and clients are no different. Even if they don’t think they’re being lied to at first, they’ll eventually figure it out and you’ll soon find yourself reeling in the consequences.
Show integrity, tell the truth, and be open and honest, even in the face of adversity. Your clients will appreciate it.
Deliver on time
If you say you’re going to deliver something at a certain time, make sure you deliver on time, or (even better) ahead of time. If you say you’re going to send something to the client, they will usually take that as absolute verbatim.
If you’re unsure of hitting a deadline, either tell your client as soon as you can that you’re going to need to push it back, or simply don’t promise it in the first place.
Committing to a deadline means leaving your client safe in the knowledge that they’ll have what they need when they need it. If you don’t deliver, how can they trust you? And, as we know from our previous rule, a relationship without trust doesn’t last.
Making sure your client is reliant on your input and expertise is a sure-fire way to develop a long-lasting relationship.
The more value you can offer, the more your client will seek your expertise. Share relevant information, be on hand to offer advice, even if it doesn’t directly benefit you or your agency’s back pocket. Be that person they can rely on and you can be sure it’ll pay off in the long run.
Know their company and industry like it’s your own
Knowledge is power. As highlighted in our guide on the 3 questions you need to ask yourself to become a successful account manager, knowing your client’s company shows that you know and care about them and the services they provide. Knowing what’s going on in your client’s industry provides further reinforcement that the client can trust you and can rely on you to know what’s best for them.
You don’t need to be an expert, but being aware of your client’s challenges before even they know about them demonstrates your indispensability and can only strengthen your relationship as someone they need.
I mean, you wouldn’t enter, let alone stay in a relationship if you didn’t know anything about each other, would you?
Don’t hide behind an email address
Keeping in contact via emails is a completely normal and valuable practice, but there is significant value in picking up the phone and arranging good old face-to-face communications.
With emails, there is always the possibility of something being misconstrued or miscommunicated, especially when multiple people are included. Face-to-face and (to a lesser extent) phone calls negate any possible miscommunications as both non-verbal and verbal cues can be read, helping bring clarity to any potentially unclear communications.
Face-to-face communication can help boost efficiency, enabling you to get something which could take a whole day emailing about done in one fowl swoop.
Communications away from email also allows you to add a “personal touch”, allowing you to demonstrate personality, then likely reciprocated by your client, helping to develop a more personal, substantial relationship with the ability to last.