5 Ways To Impress Your Clients Socks Off
5 Ways to Impress Your Clients’ Socks Off
(Besides Just Picking Them Up from the Airport)
The handshake to close the deal is just the beginning. After landing a new client, you want to prove that all the wining and dining before signing on the line wasn’t just for show. You meant what you promised, and you’re here for the long haul. Whether it’s picking them up from the airport in a limo , taking them on an exciting limo wine tour, or helping them calm down one of their irate customers – how can you impress your clients so spectacularly that they never even dream of dropping you for a competitor? We’re so glad you asked …
Do Your Due Diligence in Research
What’s your client’s favorite color? Does she golf or play tennis? More importantly, where does his/her company stand within their market? What are their greatest needs and pain points? Who are their toughest competitors? What do their customer profiles look like? How does your product fit their needs and help them meet their goals? Know your customer and how your products or services fit within their budget, meet their needs, and help them meet their goals.
Take the Time to Wine & Dine
Effective business professionals master the art of mixing business with pleasure. It’s a chance to connect with your client personally, not just professionally, but that bleeds over into a successful business relationship. Talking business on the golf course isn’t a problem, so long as you balance work and play the right way. For example, make sure the activity is something the client enjoys — such as a wine tasting tour in Napa Valley or a tour of San Francisco‘s best restaurants or art galleries. Pick them up at the airport in a limo. Escort them around town. Take your time, and work the business in when it’s quiet and you two are alone. Clients won’t appreciate you discussing their business with others around to overhear.
Don’t be Afraid to be Realistic
Sometimes, client expectations aren’t realistic. Instead of leading them to believe that you can move that mountain, explain the limitations and why you can’t. BUT, offer an alternative. Don’t leave them without options. When you tell them why you can’t move that mountain, follow up immediately with your grand plan for getting around it, through it, under it, or over it. Clients are usually okay with a “no” as long as you have another solution.
Embrace Their Vision & Support Their Mission
Never take a client if you can’t truly get behind them or their products. Believe in their mission. Adopt their vision. Today’s customers aren’t looking for vendors; they are seeking true partnerships. This is particularly true if you’re working with startups, entrepreneurs, and small- to mid-size companies. Most entrepreneurs would love to take on a supplier or vendor and stick with them as the company grows and expands. Finding new partnerships just takes away from the time and effort they need to run and grow their business. Use a getaway like your limo tour of Napa Valley wineries to express your commitment to their business plan and goals.
Don’t Even Mess with a Client Who’s Too Big to Lose
When a large, well-known or highly respected business reaches out to you or wants to use your products or services, there’s a tendency to get somewhat star struck. Big names like IBM, Macy’s, or McDonald’s are hard to land and their contracts can be lucrative, too. But believe it or not, sometimes it’s better to tell the big guys “no” when they come-a-knockin’. What? Hear us out. Fast-forward two years from now, when the mid-level manager you build a relationship with gets her well-earned promotion. Someone new takes her place. How will they make their mark? Step one will be finding new contracts and business relationships that are their own — not their predecessor’s. This is just one example. Another is large companies that place gigantic orders, and you spend more money ramping up production to meet their demands than you actually make on the contract. When they pull their business or the contract ends, can your company survive?
By all means, meet your clients in the middle. Pick them up at the airport in a limo, shuttle them around in style, and show them a great time. Just be ready to get real when the fun is over and it’s hand-shaking on the deal time.