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What everyone should know before taking on clients...

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by joshweaver9, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. joshweaver9

    joshweaver9 Senior Member

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    I didn't think anything like this ever needed to be posted but after dealing with a few service providers on this forum who seemingly have no idea how to manage clients, I thought I would post some advice to those currently managing clients or hoping to bring on clients in the near future. And yes...I know this is long.

    First off, a bit about myself.

    I have worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies in a sales and client facing management role. I have managed staffs of 30 people. I have helped land 6 and 7 figure contracts and I currently manage the one of the largest client my current employer has. And in my current role (6 months in), I have increased sales by over 20% each month over that month in 2011. Over this time, I have learned certain truths that should be looked at before dealing with your next client.

    I have many truths that I follow but here are 3 important truths.

    1) Sometimes a client just wants to be heard. You are never going to please 100% of your clients because frankly it's impossible to do so. When you don't, you are probably going to be hearing about it. When that time comes you need TO LISTEN. You may be in a bad mood, you might have other things going on, but you took their money so you need to make them at least feel like they are being heard. One way to make a client feel like they are being listened to is to repeat their concerns.

    Example, Client, "I'm currently a member but I have not been seeing the results I was expecting with xyz."

    Poor response, "What else have you been doing because my service alone won't work."

    Proper response, "I'm sorry to hear that you have not been getting the results that you are looking for. What results were you expecting? (Listen for answer). OK so you are looking for (the stated answer), this is what I think we can do to get the desired results."

    Wording is everything. In the proper response, you made the client know that you heard their concerns because you are stating them back. They now know that you not only have heard what they are saying but that you are listening. This can go a long way when pleasing a customer.

    2) To go along with the first piece of advice, never meet a clients disappointment with snide remarks. The client is already unhappy with your service/product, what makes you think that they want to hear a jackass reply to their concerns. You may not want to hear what they have to say, but guess what, you took their money so you get the good along with the bad. Your job is to diffuse the situation and help come to a solution, not throw fuel on the fire!
    3) KEEP YOUR PROMISES!!! If you tell your client that something is going to be done, you better get it done. I've had countless times where I have made promises to clients and something outside of my control happened that no longer allowed me to turn the profit that I was expecting. Rather than fall short on my promises, I paid extra money to ensure that I could meet their expectations. There have even been times that I have taken a loss to make sure that I kept up my end of the bargain. Some short-sighted people may not see the benefit in this, but that is why my client retention is high in every field that I work. Our shipping department recently mailed a shipment to the wrong adress and because of that the shipment was scheduled to get to the intended location 2 days later than when it was supposed to. I was not going to let that happen and because of that I drove 100 miles to pick up the shipment another 70 to drop it off at the proper location and then back home. To me, driving 5 hours was worth keeping a current client happy because it is essential that I keep my word. Who knows, they might tell someone in the industry about that and I could get more business from it.

    Most of this is what I thought to be common knowledge but after dealing with members on this forum, you'd be surprised at how much this stuff gets overlooked. Don't settle for subpar client management because eventually it will catch up to you.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  2. raticals75

    raticals75 Regular Member

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    Very wise words my friend. Great story in your advice number 3. You must have many loyal happy clients. Thanks for the good read.
     
  3. Wealthy Wisdom

    Wealthy Wisdom Power Member

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    I feel the same way, matter of fact I just had someone on fiverr make me do 3 revisions and even though it took me a while to earn that $5.. he was satisfied in the end and told me he would be back for more.

    Thank you for the words of wisdom
     
  4. thinktank1

    thinktank1 Regular Member

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    words of a true businessman. excellent information.
     
  5. SUPERHIGH

    SUPERHIGH Registered Member

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    I couldn't agree more! Quality and punctuality is very important.
     
  6. daveguy

    daveguy Power Member

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    Wise words friend. This business is based on referrals. It's simply to new and magical. People are scared of it. They may have heard about it, but they're still scared. They usually need a friend's push. Keeping clients happy ALWAYS pays dividends in the end. That is, if you have the right clients :p.
     
  7. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Sometimes a client fails to follow up on their end as well and the service provider should not be held accountable.

    The occasional client will ignore what you tell them to do after buying the service and raise a stink because they think since they paid you you're obligated to listen to them rant even though they failed to follow through on their end.

    I don't think that is the case... didn't with F. Lee Baily when he was a client of mine nor did I do it when Donald Trump was a client of mine and was backed up 100% by my boss who is a person that 95% of you would know if I shared who he was.

    I've actually refunded clients like that even though they did not deserve a refund as it is the professional thing to do.