Whether your company is a start-up or well established, opportunities to create enduring client relationships present themselves on a daily basis.
These opportunity present themselves in the form of “basic” communications. Things like emails, meetings, presentations, proposals and follow up. These basic initiatives can build credibility, trust, referrals and revenue. It’s true whether your contacts are prospects or clients.
Bob Musial, principal at StreetSmart Business Development, LLC, recently outlined 7 tips to help retain clients as paying customers. This is an area he has expertise in as his company provides start-up and established B2B and consumer clients with strategies and techniques designed to enhance communications to generate and protect revenue.
Here are seven “basic” tips to help build a strong foundation with prospects and clients.
- Treat every presentation and communication as a new business opportunity. You work hard at making a positive impression with prospects. No reason to stop once they’ve become clients.
- Avoid “me too” emails. Frequently emails end with “Call me if you have any questions.” Get out of that habit. Most of us are in the service business in one manner or another. End your emails with “I will call you to follow up.” You’ll be differentiating yourself.
- Anticipate objections. Think about potential questions that may arise prior to your meeting, call or presentation. Have the answers ready before hand. It will eliminate potential awkward moments.
- Create memorable presentations. We are visual learners, and presentations can be done with fewer slides and more visuals. But you have to rehearse.
- Include quantified client-based value in your proposals. If you don’t, you’re just providing an unjustified comparison cost.
- Communicate on a Regular Basis. With meaningful information like case studies, informative articles, or upcoming relevant meetings. Create an annual communication plan and stick to it.
- Eliminate F.U.D. It stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. All prospects and clients have it. You can control it with positive communications at every opportunity you’re given, thereby reinforcing their wisdom in working with you.
These seven tips represent just a few basics along the Business Development Continuum. It’s a good idea to conduct a communications audit to identify ways in which you can improve your prospect and client interactions. All of your communications have an aggregate impact over time. So, use them to nurture your relationships in a positive, memorable manner and you’ll build trust, loyalty and revenue.