It’s important to think about building long-term relationships with each corporate client that comes your way. By working with them over time, you get to learn more about their business and their expectations, deliver better results, and earn more consistent income. The lifetime value of each happy corporate client can be tremendous.
Let’s think about it for a moment, the companies you provide your product or service to always have more needs. And quite frankly, they like buying from the same suppliers again and again to save time, hassle, and money. So….the real end game in being a successful corporate supplier is to create winning client relationships.
I’d like to share with you a few advanced relationship-building strategies that I’ve developed over the years that have served me well.
Gain their trust. We are living at a time when trust levels are at an all-time low. That’s why it’s important that from the moment you reach out to a prospective client, you are true to your word. Follow-up when you say you will. Meet your deadlines. Be a person of integrity. And show that you are more interested in helping the client solve his or her challenge than you are in making a buck.
Be willing to negotiate. Much goodwill is gained and much goodwill is lost in the negotiation process. Be mindful of the LIFETIME value of a big client. It’s not about that first contract. It’s about the one that comes after that and after that… Demonstrate your commitment. Use words like, “This is going to be a great project. How can we make this work?”
Give them a “wow” experience. I can’t emphasize enough how difficult it is for corporate clients to find vendors and service providers who are awesome. After being “dazzled” early on, they often get let down when it’s time for the outside vendor to deliver its services. By simply doing a great job, showing up on time, behaving in a professional manner, staying within budget and meeting other basic expectations, you’ll set yourself apart from the vast majority of professionals out there.
Keep them SOLD. Many small business owners completely change gears after they land that contract, switching completely into “service delivery” mode. But that’s a big mistake. Even after the ink is dry on the contract and while you are delivering your service, whatever it is, it’s important to keep your client SOLD on what you’re doing for them.
If you see a study that backs up the value of what you’re doing, send it off with a casual little note to your client, “I thought you’d enjoy seeing this article. Looks like we’re on the right track!” Or if you get positive feedback from someone in the company you are working with, shoot a short email to your direct client and say, “Hey Sally. I talked to Bob today. He said the nicest thing about what we’re doing… he said his team is already seeing a big change for the better! And I thought you’d like to hear that!”
5. Look for other areas where you can help them. As you work with clients, it often becomes very obvious where else you can help them. You don’t want to seem over eager. But once you’ve built up a good rapport, you’ll want to be sure they know all the other ways you can help them — or help their colleagues. Because corporate clients hate having to look for good vendors, they’ll appreciate knowing all the other ways you can support them or others in the company. Likewise, don’t be afraid to ask for introductions to other decision makers in the company who might benefit from your services!
FREE Training Call Coming Soon!
On Thursday, October 24 at 7pm CST / 8ET / 5PT I will be conducting a free training call on Building Winning Client Relationships. here’s what we’ll cover:
- Top 5 ways corporate clients find suppliers
- 3 most important types of relationships
- 3 most effective ways to build relationships
- 5 places you must be in order to build great relationships with key players
- Top 4 mistakes to avoid when building corporate relationships
There will be NO selling during this call, just pure content. Grab your seat here and be sure to share with your friends and colleagues.