Setting yourself apart from your competition is important. And you know that one way to help differentiate your company is to consistently deliver on your promise of value. But what if customers view your products or services as the same as all the others? What then? At Isom Global Strategies, we believe an essential way to do this is through the relationships we build with our customers.
IGS President and CEO Towan Isom recognizes the need to establish a strong relationship from the start. “Before I meet the client, it’s our job to know what they need,” Towan says. “We must understand how we are going to fill their needs, and how we’re going to prove our value.” And Towan knows that whether the client likes you enough to want to work with you after that initial meeting comes down to your efforts to make the best individual connection with them and with their project needs.
So if there’s an emotional component to the decision, how do you make that connection? How can you influence clients to choose you?
Although it begins with initial contact, it can then continue in many ways, including the following:
- Staying in touch through personal correspondence. In our fast-paced, data-driven world, a direct call demonstrates your desire to connect with your client. (Yes, your smartphone does more than connect you to social media, take pictures and provide a mobile way to search the Internet!) You show you’re taking time and paying attention to people when you send individual emails rather than mass blasts and automated responses.
- Showing interest in the client. Everyone wants to feel important. When you remember and inquire about something your client has shared with you, such as staffing changes or the earning of an industry award, you make them significant.
- Generally keeping in contact with them on a regular schedule, even when the contract is completed. Offering support throughout the year, sending reports and articles they may be interested in and meeting for lunch to mark an anniversary of their time with you as a client are all great ways to stay in touch with someone. The more you’re on their mind, the more likely they may be to call on you when their next project comes up. And, they're more likely to refer you to others. Never underestimate the power of a client's happiness along with their ability to produce word-of-mouth referrals, because client relationships will impact the success or failure of your business.
In the end, the best way to help grow and sustain good client relationships is by authentically and wholeheartedly proving that their requirements are your primary concern. According to IGS Associate Taren Henry, “Dedication at IGS can take on many forms — late nights, long days — but it is always driven by our goal to meet our client’s needs.”