Client relations made simple

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What do you do when there’s a problem with a case? Do you email the client to tell them? Or do you call?

Calling is better, of course, because you can explain what happened, answer the client’s questions, discuss the options, and work together to find the path forward.

You’re not just delivering news, you’re having a conversation.

Your tone of voice tells the client how you feel about the issue. He’ll hear your concern and appreciate that you personally called. The client might still be upset or afraid, but being able to talk to you will help, even if he blames you for the problem. Actually, especially if he blames you because he can vent and then the two of you can talk about what to do.

Now, you probably know this and you probably use the phone when there’s a problem. The question is, do you use the phone when there isn’t a problem?

When you want to tell the client good news. When you want to ask the client a question. When you want to touch base with the client. Do you call? Even when you don’t have to?

The same dynamics exist whether you’re delivering good news or bad. Just as you want the client to hear the concern in your voice when you deliver bad news, you want them to hear the smile in your voice when the news is good.

If you’re not calling your clients, you’re missing out on an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with them.

Call more, email less.

But, there’s something even better than calling. Whenever possible, meet with your clients in person.

Whether you have good news, bad news, or no news, getting face to face with your clients gives you an opportunity to bond in a way that cannot be simulated over the phone. Now only does tone of voice come into play, so do facial expressions, body language, and general interpersonal chemistry.

Find reasons to meet with your clients for coffee. Visit their business. Invite them to your office. And don’t charge for that time, even if you could.

Spend face time with your clients and when you’re done, send them an email saying, “It was nice to see you.” Or better yet, call.

Your clients are worth a fortune to you

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