The value and importance of making personal phone calls to your clients to demonstrate how much you care about them can’t be understated. In that call, you want to focus on them and remember this acronym: TINY – Their Interests Not Yours
Ask your client a simple but profound question to start, “How are YOU?” You’re not asking about their business or projects but THEM. Let them share and don’t interrupt. Then, use the following tips to effectively connect during the call:
Find out what kind of help they need the most. Brainstorm how to work together and possible solutions to the problems they face. Client relationships are at their best when you help your client succeed. Now, more than ever, your priority should be how to support your client; not cashing in on a contract. Your clients will likely have a questions; it’s important to answer them to the best of your ability.
Empathy with clients is uncharted territory for most of us. Express your support and how you can relate to your clients’ issues. In this climate, clients might be concerned about a lay off or about future income. Share how you have adjusted to working from home and some insights from your own personal life. Or, your client may be worried about their health if working from home is not an option. We’re all human and we’re all in this together.
Let your clients know that you’re doing everything you can to help them. Send useful articles, funny memes, or a favorite recipe to stay top of mind. Schedule a virtual happy hour or meeting to get some face time with them. Find creative ways to engage with your client and think about what they need right now. This will help with not being out of sight, out of mind and helps maintain connection.
As part of follow-up, consider scheduling an online learning event based on your client discussions. Identify a relevant topic and offer to provide a virtual brown bag presentation. You can also collaborate with other local clients who are dealing with similar issues. Instead of a brown bag lunch, elevate the meeting by sending gift cards to local restaurants for your client to have lunch on you!
It’s imperative that we rethink how traditionally client relationship management. If you continue to keep them at the center of all your decisions, then you’ll be setting the foundation for future success.