Do you sometime wish that your clients would just do what they were told? Well the truth is, great clients WANT to do the right thing; but often, they just don’t know what is expected of them.
How clearly do you let your clients know what a great relationship with you looks like?
The great thing about doing this BEFORE you work with them is that you are setting both parties up for a successful relationship. You both get a chance to understand and discuss the rules and have an explicit agreement to work by.
Here are some tips and advice on how to save yourself time and heartache by being more open and transparent about successful partnering with your clients.
The Client Relationship
I was reading an article recently about a Café in Spain that charges a Rude Tax, and it got me to thinking about the ways that we can train and reward our clients for being better behaved. I have popped a link to that at the end of the article, so keep reading.
Sometimes, people don’t do the right thing, simply because we haven’t shared with them what that is. We are so used to being in our own business; that we forget to share the simple things that are right in front of our face. Then we are surprised when they don’t follow the implicit rules.
I have to confess, I am an eternal optimist and so I think that when you show people what, how and why to conduct themselves in the right way – then most people will follow that and make your business dealings a pleasure! Oh yes and also – people act a lot like sheep – they want to follow the well-trodden path.
Let them know what to expect (what they do).
Take a client’s walk through your business. Think about and document the pathway for when a client first comes on board in your business. Teach them what is what and who is who and what works best when working with you.
Make a list of all the point of contact and reasons they would have to contact you and make it easy for them to do this the right way and get to the right people.
Be clear about behaviour (how they do it).
Now they know what they need to do, the next step is about the mode of delivery, some more detail on how this works best with your business. Here are some ideas on what you should be including:
- Is it best to call or email or just pop in. Tell people your preference.
- Give them the right (internal) names and words that you use for things so when they are asking they use words that most easily communicate their needs.
- Let them know timeframes. It saves so much time and upset when we share with people how long something is likely to take or the expected response time to a call or email.
Give them a reason (why they should).
Lastly, but probably most importantly add in the why. When people know why they are far more likely to remember what and how to do something and have the understanding that underpins their actions.
This is how you explain why your business operates that way, it’s about sharing your experiences and stories that have culminated in your well-worn path. Choose some stories that confirm the path you would like them to take and also some as to why the alternate path doesn’t work.
Good luck with your client wrangling!
For the love of sales,
P.S. Oh, here is the article on the Café with the Rude Tax.