Business Relationship connections for success

by Wehan Dreyer | May 12, 2022

How to establish successful business relationships
What are the first steps towards a positive, long-lasting relationship? As with any human connection, the most important thing you can do with a new client is establish trust. As a result, your relationship builds and expands into bigger and better things, either through longevity, additional business, or the biggest compliment—referrals to other clients.

However, building a strong relationship goes beyond delivering on the contract’s scope of service. The following tips will help you “impress” your clients every day and boost your reputation as a trusted partner.

  1. Really Get to Know Your Client: When you first make contact with a client, do your research on the company, team, past projects (if applicable), and the individual client contacts. This way, you go into your initial conversations with confidence, enthusiasm, and easy material to use to create a great first impression.
    A great way to get to know your client from the start is to have a kick-off meeting in person. Going on-site gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the office culture and how their team communicates. If you can’t go in person, suggest a video call. Because while you can do all the research possible on someone, getting to know them organically is how you’ll truly learn to work with them effectively.
  2. Don’t Be All Business: Strong client relationships that grow and withstand setbacks are built on genuine connection, not just transactions.
    Clients are people first and foremost. When you treat them as such—and not just as vehicles to hit your goals or make money—you instantly make yourself stand out from the competition.
  3. Frequent Communication: A crucial part of a strong relationship is maintaining consistent, effective, and reciprocal communication. Having regular check-ins with your client will not only keep everyone informed and organised, but also builds trust quicker.
    Also, don’t just email – pick up the phone. A phone call can often help you achieve quicker resolutions to problems or queries and demonstrate a more personable touch for your clients.
    Furthermore, your organization must set up a structure and system to guide and track communication with clients and prospective clients, and then be able to customize that communication accordingly. Customer relationship management software or CRM’s can help with this.
  4. Get Feedback: You should always be consistently and deliberately asking your client how you can improve the way you work together.
    When you finish onboarding them, for example, give them a quick call to ask for feedback on how it went, what they liked about the process, and if there was anything that was challenging or could have been done differently. Not only do you show interest in their opinion and happiness, but you also learn valuable information for future clients you may onboard.
    The most important part? Make sure to actually take their feedback seriously and implement any changes that need to be made.
  5. Manage Expectations: It probably goes without saying, but if you say you are going to do something within a specific timeframe for a client, you need to deliver. And don’t just meet expectations—exceed them with incredible communication, energy, and results. Simple as that. Follow through by setting realistic expectations with your client from the start, from what you’re going to actually deliver to how you’re going to deliver it to how you’re going to keep in contact throughout the relationship. This means understanding your own capabilities and timelines, and being honest with yourself if you have any limitations. Don’t overpromise and then underdeliver.
  6. Client Accountability: What is the client ultimately responsible for? Partnership is a two-way street, and the best partners hold each other accountable. So it’s perfectly acceptable (and frankly crucial) to set clear expectations for your client – what deadlines do they need to meet? What specific tasks are their responsibility? Confronting a client to hold them accountable can be incredibly intimidating. But doing so actually makes them respect you more. When you take control of the relationship, you show organization, initiative, and confidence—all qualities of a great service specialist wanting to go the extra mile and add holistic value to the client’s business. It also leaves little room for mistakes, unexpected emotions, or the “blame game” should something fall through the cracks.

So Where Does It All Start?

Building an effective and long-lasting relationship starts with “goal-setting”. What you aim to build together is success, through reaching goals. That is how trust is earned. When both parties are actively engaged in the goal-setting process, you’ll achieve far better results that are truly tailored to their needs.

Just because a client comes to you seeking a service, doesn’t mean they want to relinquish control over setting goals and developing plans for improving their business. It’s a collaborative effort and they need your expertise to help them get there.

To Conclude

For your business to achieve long term success, you have to start prioritising client relationships over things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s hard work, but you can’t really put a price on the payoff in the long-run. At wauko we call it the “wau-factor”. Contact Dale Petersen on 021 819 7802 or 066 165 9019 to find out more.


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