||Complete Business Wisdom
||Profit from Valued Client Relationships
by Harvy Simkovits, CMC, Mr. Business Wisdom
Do you know what each of your clients stands for, is working to create, or wants to leave behind in their business/profession? If you do not, you may not really know how to best serve and support them in their pursuit of their dreams. Without truly understanding what is most important to your clients both personally and professionally, you may miss uncovering opportunities for doing more business with them, or just in being a trusted confidant.Consider the following five principles in order to get more deeply involved with your most important clients, helping to support them in reaching their greatest hopes and aspirations. These principles are all about facilitating positive, mutually-beneficial progress in your relationships. Without adhering to these principles, you may risk being seen only as a commodity provider--giving clients simply what they ask for--and not working as a trusted partner who can offer them greater value in effectively helping to move them and their business forward.
- Make a Powerful Connection - Ensure that there is high-quality rapport between you and your client in order to set the sage for good dialog. You can do this by either connecting with what you have in common, or simply by matching/mirroring their body language (their physical energy pattern). This will put your client more psychologically at ease in talking with you.
- Set Good Context - Be clear as to the purpose (the why) and agenda (the what) of the conversation you desire to have with them. By setting a good frame around a topic that would be of interest to them, you can draw them into an opening where they would want to converse with you. Also, by setting context well, you will better be able to keep your conversation focused and on track.
- Create Profound Clarity - Ask good questions that bring forth your clients' most important cares and concerns. Get to what is ultimately most valuable to them with regard to the topic at hand so that both of you fully understand it. This way, you will be seen as a truly connected partner that really "gets" them, and you will then have a greater ability to offer higher-value solutions to them. Interestingly, if you can help your client gain profound clarity about what they are experiencing and needing in their business, then they will automatically turn to you as the most viable solution provider.
- Craft Sensible Contracts - Make practical agreements (offers, requests and promises) with your client. Ensure that there is alignment between you and them about proposed next steps, making sense and fitting with what is most important to them. And, make sure that your agreements serve not only what is valuable to them, but also to all other relevant stakeholders in their organization. This way, your actions and decisions will be working towards the best interests of everyone.
- Confirm Mutual Commitments - Always ask extra questions to test for mutual understanding and agreement. Do not assume anything with regard to what will satisfy your client. Also, document your mutual commitments in order to prevent any misunderstandings or misrepresentations. This way, you can also review what actually happened against what was promised and agreed to both from you and from them.
By effectively following and weaving together these principles, you can forge more powerful, longer-lasting relationships with your clients. This will generate greater mutual respect and mutual benefit for many years to come.
Harvy Simkovits, CMC, President of Business Wisdom, works with owner managed companies to help them grow, prosper and continue on by offering innovative approaches to business development, company management, organization leadership and learning, and management education. He can be reached at 781-862-3983 or
4 Angier Road, Lexington, MA 02420 (781) 862-3983 www.Business-Wisdom.com