Two of the most critical factors that play a role in your client response rates are communication and presentation. When you reach out to connect with new prospects, it’s essential to maintain a consistent tone of professionalism in your words and behavior, both off and on the clock.
That being said, here are five great key techniques that you can use to solidify your relationships with your potential and already existing clients.
- Ask Them About Themselves
This doesn’t mean that you have to inquire at all about their personal lives outside of work. That would just be awkward and a waste of time, unless, of course, you know them on a personal level. Asking your clients about themselves means asking them about who they are, what they do, their profession, their opinions, their experience in their job field, etc. This can also give you the opportunity to clearly observe their behavior so that you may better empathize and cooperate with them. If you happen to run into a prospect who would prefer not to discuss anything other than the job, make sure to be respectful of that as well.
- Be Supportive
Remember, the whole point in hiring you for a job is ultimately for your client to succeed, so it’s imperative to express your support for their goals and initiatives. By doing this, you’re letting them know that you are not just in the contract for yourself. You want them to understand that you wish for them to succeed and for their organization to prosper. This builds trust, comfort, and your overall impression as a professional.
- Never, Ever Argue
This is arguably the most important technique that you must follow if you hope to maintain a successful contract. If your client is open to negotiation regarding rates or deadlines, then that’s okay. And most of the time, they’ll let you know if they are. But if they clearly state that their terms are non-negotiable, then that’s the end of it. Do not attempt to reach out looking to bargain if your prospect has clearly indicated that they are not open to the idea. No client is ever going to hire anyone that argues with them or constantly tries to negotiate non-negotiable terms.
- Place Yourself In Their Shoes
This fourth technique involves asking yourself this question: If I were the client, would I hire me? It’s very important to try and see the perspective from both sides of the screen. Having confidence in your work ethic is excellent, but you also want to ensure that your prospect is clearly able to see it. Present yourself as someone that you yourself would hire for the project at hand. What kind of traits would you look for? What kind of attitude would be most appealing to you? This is also a great way to develop your communication skills and your own initiative better.
- Respect Their Time
This last technique may seem like a no-brainer, but let’s evaluate precisely what this means. Time is money, so naturally, if you waste a client’s time, then you’re far less likely to be hired for the project. Being respectful of your client’s time means being on time for conference calls and interviews. It means preparing yourself for whatever they throw at you. And most importantly, it means being honest, straightforward, and confident in your capability to deliver right on schedule.
When you communicate with new and old clients, remember to follow these five key techniques. You’ll see for yourself that solidifying client relationships isn’t as hard as it sounds.