One of the best things you can do for your business marketing and sales is to excel at maintaining a healthy client relationship with everyone who does business with you. The saying, "The customer is always right" applies to all businesses, not just retailers. While you have to create and keep boundaries to protect yourself and your business, it's important to go beyond the call when dealing with clients. If you don't, they'll find your competitors who will. Here's how to maintain a healthy client relationship:
Clients aren't interested in you pushing your products or services on them. They've come to you to help solve a problem. When you're working with clients, be a problem solver and not a sales person. You'll make a sale in the process, and the client will appreciate your help. They'll also feel more comfortable referring you to friends and family. They won't feel comfortable referring anyone that comes off as pushy or product driven.
Always Follow Up
After you've delivered goods and services, it's not enough to hope that all went well and that your clients are happy. Take the extra effort to find out for yourself how things are going with your clients. Ask whether the solution you proposed met their needs, or if they were lacking something. Make sure that they are happy with their purchase, and if something is wrong, try to do all that you can to fix it. This goes a long way to maintaining a healthy and long term client relationship, which is more efficient and less expensive than trying to land a new one.
Educate and Inform
Keep your clients in the loop about news and information that impact their lives as it relates to products or services you offer. Clients look to you as the expert and you can establish trust with them when you educate and inform them. It can be as simple as sending regular email newsletters, maintaining a blog and encouraging clients to add your blog to their feeds or offering free teleseminars or podcasts. For example, if you're a bookkeeper, you could e-mail a one sheet that explains which financial records your clients need to store and for how long. An added benefit is that your clients may forward your information to others, so be sure to include your business name, web address and contact information.
Throw in a Bonus
It's tough to consider giving your products or services away for free, especially if your personal economy or the national economy is not going well. However, you may end up with more business from the client if you throw in a bonus. Give something extra for free that your client was not expecting. They'll be pleasantly surprised, and they'll be more likely to spread the word about your business. Think of it as a marketing expense, but choose a product or service that doesn't cause you to lose so much money that making the sale isn't worth it.
Work hard to maintain a healthy client relationship, and you'll have an army of marketers spreading the word about your business. You may end up with most of your business coming to you.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.