The old adage “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” comes to mind when beginning to dig into rapport building. Before focusing on product sales and helping a client flesh out their marketing plan/budget, first you need to focus on building that trust and rapport.
1. Know Before You Go
Helping your clients achieve their marketing goals will only go as far as the preparation you put into truly understanding who the client is; do your homework! You should have a thorough understanding of who your point person is, their background and their role within the company.
Going into the first meeting or call with a client, you need to have researched the company’s organizational structure, industry trends, website and what makes them unique. Doing your homework and showing that you’re invested will help provide for a good first conversation!
2. Be Authentic
Taking a genuine interest in your client’s business and its success is a must if you want to build trust. The principals will be able to tell in those first few minutes of a meeting or call if you’re truly invested in their company’s well-being.
Be okay letting your personality come though and showing them that you’re comfortable expressing yourself from the first conversation. In order to build rapport with any client, they have to be able to see you’re passionate about making a difference for them.
3. Be Curious and Share Value
By expressing your interest in their business by asking thoughtful questions, you’re helping the client share and express themselves about their passion. By leading with this line of interaction, you’ll almost always find shared values and areas of agreement.
Having done your homework prior to these interactions, you will be able to show your value through sharing advice on something that truly resounds with them and shows your investment. Learn the ins and outs of their business’s challenges and bring ideas to the table to help them move past that.
4. Practice Reciprocity
Often times it is the little things that make the biggest difference to a client or prospective client. Setting up calendar invites for birthdays or major milestones for your point of contact and their business is an easy way of doing this. Another way is to regularly call or send an email just to check in on how things are going internally with their business, or just asking about them as people. Finding ways to treat your client as if they are your only client will not go unnoticed!
Ultimately, what clients care the most about is that you are delivering what they’re paying for and what you’re promising. Keeping constant communication with progress or any delays in a project are crucial to building rapport. A client should never find out that a deliverable will be delayed after the fact. Meaning, the moment you know there could be a hiccup in progress, you need to communicate that to them and provide a solution.
There generally is a level of understanding that things come up from time to time, but it’s hard to understand that if you aren’t communicating effectively. An opportunity to build trust with your clients should never be taken for granted, so make sure you’re conveying every win, and every measurable step forward.
Looking to build a beneficial relationship with a hands-on marketing agency? Contact Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910 for a free evaluation today!