In many ways, developing a long lasting relationship with a customer or client can be much like dating. As a very happily married couple, we would know.
Whether you’re single relationship-wise or looking to secure a client into a long-term contract, here are some simple guidelines you can follow.
1. Be timely. No guy or girl likes to be kept waiting. If you’re going to be late, a quick e-mail or phone call is in order. Better yet, don’t be late.
2. Communication. We have all experienced awkward silences. So why not make some small talk to fill up that dead space? Whether it be asking about their favorite snack (so you can send a ‘Congratulations’ basket when their office opens) or discussing their favorite hobbies, people like to talk about themselves. Be careful asking too many personal questions however. There’s a difference between friendly and nosey.
3. Take Note of the Details. This one goes hand-in-hand with Communication. While meeting with your customer, have your notebook handy. If he says he likes Cellas (chocolate covered cherries) jot it down! Imagine his surprise if you have a bowl on your desk at your next meeting! Note from Kim – I wrote down Cella’s the first time Dave mentioned them to me. While they didn’t seal the deal, they definitely helped me win his heart when I showed up with a handful!
4. Under Promise and Over-Deliver. If you’re single and on a dating site, hopefully you’re not going to say you’re 6’2″ and extremely fit if you’re 5’6″ and have a little bit of flab. The same should go for your professional resume and job proposals. Don’t promise a Flash filled website if you don’t know how to write one line of code. Instead, be modest about who you are and what you can offer, and then dazzle them with your end product.
5. The Kiss Goodbye. No, please do not kiss your customers. But do learn the proper timing and grip of a handshake. A proper handshake:
- Is firm but not hard enough to break their hand
- Lasts about three seconds
- Is released after the shake, even if the introduction continues
Guys, apply the handshake rules to your first kiss. Don’t smother or swallow her. And if you don’t listen, I told you so.
If you start with these five little tips, you’ll be off to a good beginning. We’ll tell you how to get through your second “date” when we resume this series.
Do you need help preparing a kick-** proposal? Do you need your business card designed so you can pass it out to prospective clients? Sutton Creative Studios can help! Contact us to see what we can do to make you AND your clients happy!
Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture.
An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. When it comes to client work, Kim especially enjoys helping her clients develop innovative marketing strategies and sales funnels, particularly when they are using Infusionsoft to automate all the heavy lifting. To find out how you can further develop your company’s marketing and automation strategies schedule a 1-hour Business Boost Strategy Session by clicking here.
In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.
Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “10 Top Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.