As a contractor, it’s beneficial for you to wield strong client relationship skills, especially if you want to work with a customer again or have that customer speak highly of you to other prospects.
Not only does a positive client relationship contribute to a successful project, it directly affects your company’s brand. These five strategies will help you develop a client relationship based on trust and understanding:
Establish credibility and rapport right away
When first meeting with a client, it’s important to earn their trust. This sets the tone for the entire project. The goal is to assure them your contracting business is the right one for the job.
Avoid being overly humble; it’s OK to brag a bit about the impressive projects you’ve worked on previously. Be confident and explain to the customer how those success stories will benefit their current project.
Additionally, while your relationship with your client is professional, be sure to acknowledge them as a regular person. Connect with them on a personal level by showing interest in their hobbies or asking how their family is doing. It’s important to establish a good relationship when initiating a project.
Communicate clearly and regularly
When you practice effective communication throughout a project’s lifespan, your client will feel cared for. Establish who to contact as well as their preferred method of communication. Make your communications detailed, brief, positive, professional and, when possible, visual.
Avoid using technical industry jargon your client will likely not understand. Keep language simple. Additionally, establish payment terms and conditions early on. This way, no one is caught off guard when invoices are sent or if there are budget changes.
Not only is being available to talk productive, it shows that you value the client and their insight. Strong communication and transparency also ensures everyone’s visions are aligned. Always communicate to the client how you’re working to exceed their expectations.
This video from Google Partners is delivered in an agency perspective, but it highlights helpful and relevant talking points when it comes to building strong client relationships:
Organization is crucial for maintaining a good client relationship. Keep yourself in check by providing regular status updates and phase reviews, being aware of project timelines and milestones and giving a client access to the entire scope of a project.
Ultimately, finishing a project on time and within budget is key. Learn more about how you can accomplish this by partnering with material management professionals. Check out this video to learn more about Border States SupplyTrax services and solutions:
Listen to clients
By listening to a client, you can better understand their needs, solve problems, prevent conflict and increase accuracy. Plus, they’ll appreciate feeling heard. They also feel more connected to the project.
Bear with clients if they overlook the complexities of your work. Explain your processes and why they’re in place. Be sure to practice these active listening tips:
- Talk at the same speed as your client.
- Express attentiveness, empathy and understanding by using body language.
- Keep eye contact.
- Avoid interrupting the client.
- Repeat information back to make sure you’re both on the same page.
All these steps help avoid misunderstandings and keep your project on track.
Technology can help strengthen a client relationship in multiple ways, such as by
- Making communication easier.
- Boosting project efficiency.
- Simplifying the payment process.
- Reducing project costs.
- Providing accurate estimates.
- Generating project visuals. (CGI graphics, detailed 3D video representations, etc.)
- Marketing your capabilities to win future jobs.
Today, there are many mobile apps and software programs available that can help in these areas. Additionally, social media can be used to grow your client relationships, helping you connect with them on a more personal level.
Grow your business with strong client relationship skills
Developing a strong relationship with a client can lead to future work and a positive reputation. Follow the strategies highlighted in this blog post to achieve greater success for your contracting business.