Building and Maintaining Client Relationships
The Secret to Successful (and Profitable) Client Relationships
Surprisingly, it’s hidden within one word: accessibility. In Free and Open Access: Key to Building and Maintaining Client Relationships, Trey Ryder summed it up when he wrote, “Both prospects and clients want open and unrestricted access to you. Every time you redirect their call to an associate— no matter how much sense this makes to you — you risk that the caller will feel slighted.”
We’d like to add a qualifier to Ryder’s thought: while we agree that being accessible is important – no, essential – to both maintaining existing client relationships and acquiring new ones but even more important is “keeping your word”. When you are building new relationships, you simply must keep your word. When you say you’re going to do something – do it. If you can’t get it done when you said you would, call the client and explain the situation.
“Losers make promises they often break,” wrote Denis Waitley, the influential American writer. “Winners,” he declared, “make commitments they always keep.”
A professional who cannot keep his or her word, is of little or no value to their clients or co-workers. You should never put yourself in a situation where you’ve let someone down, because the foundation of a successful business is keeping promises. If you say to a client, or prospective client, “I’ll call you tomorrow,” or “I’ll have that order to you by next Friday afternoon,” you’ve given them your personal assurance that you will get it done. That assurance is backed up by your word and your trustworthiness.
A promise is only as credible as the person giving it. Peggy Hames, in Living with Integrity: Saying What You Mean and Keeping Your Word, shared this thought: “The most basic measure of integrity has to do with keeping one’s word. When we say one thing and do another, say things that we don’t really mean, or consistently break our word, we profoundly diminish our capacity to create the lives that we are hoping to create.”
What do you think is the secret to building and maintaining profitable client relationships? Feel free to leave your reply below.
Free and Open Access: Key to Building and Maintaining Client Relationships
Living with Integrity: Saying What You Mean and Keeping Your Word