It’s a brand new year, which means it’s time to look forward to the next chapter in your business. One of the most important things to evaluate in this new year is your relationships. When we think about relationships, we know that there are many different kinds that we encounter in our lifetime: personal, romantic, social, and business. As the CEO of your business, you are charged with the responsibility of building relationships because they are the foundation of your business. This especially applies to professional service providers, because whether you are a newbie or a veteran in the entrepreneurial world, client relationships are what keep your business thriving.
So, why are client relationships so important?
Client relationships are important to your business because they are the foundation of your work. In both the virtual and face-to-face work environments, partnerships, deals, and business ventures start and end with relationships. It is also important to remember that positive client relationships create longevity in your business, and leads to incredible results for both of you. As you walk into this new year, I encourage you to ask yourself these questions:
What is the dynamic of the current client relationships that I currently have?
How can I grow the relationship I have with my clients?
What can my team and I do to add even more value to the client relationships I have?
As a new year’s exercise, write down the answers to these questions in a journal and think about how they will affect this next year in your business. If you have team members that are a part of your business, you can also do this at your next team meeting. If your answers are synonymous with the mission, vision, and values of your company, be sure to keep those at the forefront as you continue to build your client relationships. If your answers are not synonymous with the mission, vision, and values of your business, it’s time to do an evaluation of how you build client relationships.
If you are unsure of how to build a client relationship, or you are in the process of rebuilding a client relationship, here are some tips to help you throughout the year.
Establish Trust Early and Often: this can include client follow up, organization of tasks, and taking the initiative to complete more tasks that give your client back their time
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: I can’t stress this one enough. Let the client know what you are doing to achieve goals. It sets their minds at ease and allows them to trust you that much more.
Follow Up and Follow Through: as a professional service provider, your client is expecting you to complete tasks in a timely manner. You can follow up and follow through by notifying your client of the process, and completing your tasks early and on time.
Clients want to know that you care about them and their business because they care about you as well. As you continue your entrepreneurial journey, be sure to prioritize the relationships that you form. For the saying goes: You don’t build a business. You build people, and then people build the business.
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