If you’re new to the promotional products industry, building up a solid client base is a challenge. There are so many details and processes to manage, but we’ve got some useful tips to help you build quality business relationships. If you’re a veteran in the industry, maybe you’ve already mastered these tips, but a little refresher never hurts. Here are three tips along with some memorable quotes that can help you build and maintain relationships with your clients.
“It’s never crowded along the extra mile.” – Wayne Dyer
The extra mile in this industry can be the most challenging one. Doing your research on a client’s company can make the difference in anticipating their needs. For example, signing up for their newsletters, following their social media accounts, or checking their events calendar can help you pick up on subtle branding clues. You can begin formulating ideas before the client approaches you if you notice an upcoming event or an ongoing program where they could use promotional products to better their marketing efforts. Your client will appreciate the extra mile you invested in getting to know their company. Read about their recent award? Notice they are opening a new location? Send them a handwritten congratulatory note and let them know you’re there if they need anything. When you look at the extra mile as being full of extra opportunities, it doesn’t seem so bad.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Frequently, clients forget that you have others to attend to, but therein lies the key to ultimate client satisfaction. Make every client feel as though they are your top priority. Your clients may not remember all the details of your emails, order questions, etc., but they will remember how you made them feel. Ideally, they will feel as though your business isn’t just a resource for ordering products. They’ll feel your enthusiasm for the industry and your encouragement throughout the process! It’s difficult to keep the positivity up day-to-day when you’re in the middle of working with several clients. But, they’ll feel confident that they got some great ideas from you to take their latest marketing campaign or event to the next level and you’ll see a drastic change in your relationship with them and the frequency in their orders.
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin
It’s amazing how quickly a few tasks spiral into an entire page of to-do’s. Whether you’re a spreadsheet organizer, sticky tab fanatic, or an iPhone notes keeper, it’s never too late to build a new level of organization. How do personal organization skills relate to relationships with clients? It may not be clear in the beginning, but if your business processes aren’t smooth, you’ll soon see very unhappy clients and it can be hard to right those wrongs in a fresh relationship.
If you’re starting out with a small client base, your organization system may be just fine for now. But, if you plan on growing, you’ll want a better system to better serve your clients. Because ultimately, the better you plan, the clearer direction you can give your client, and the more they can manage their expectations. With a clear organizational strategy, you’ll be on top of client communication and conserve the energy you typically spend hastily looking for notes, orders, and important details. It takes time to set a new system in motion, but you’ll see how much time and frustration you save yourself and clients in the long run.
It takes a lot of energy and effort when it comes to building and maintaining client relationships, so if you find yourself needing a better way to streamline the process, check out the SAGE Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module available in SAGE Online, SAGE Web, and SAGE Mobile. See all of the benefits of the CRM module here! Not sure if you need to use a CRM system? Here are three signs you might need to reconsider.
If you have a tip to share on how you’ve built strong client relationships, feel free to drop us a comment below or on our Facebook page!