Prospecting and loyalty are the two pillars of customer relationship management. They are equally important but require different approaches and skills. For example, it is often much more expensive to win over a client than to retain them and it is essential to understand how to manage the first moments in the relationship. Here are our 4 tips to help you build a lasting relationship with your clients, from when you first make contact through to winning their loyalty:
1- Ensure that your first point of contact is a positive one
You won’t get a second chance at making a good impression. So prepare your first meeting with a prospective client carefully. Learn about their company and career path via LinkedIn or your own network. If you have shared contacts, ask them questions to find out more about the person you are meeting.
During the first meeting, listen to your client and try to understand their situation. Reformulate their expectations to confirm their needs. Present them your offer or your solution by organising your ideas according to their needs. Choose only those that are of interest to them to ensure you increase your impact. By doing this, your contact will feel listened to and the rest of your relationship will be based on a positive footing.
2- Use professional social networks
Clients are approached a lot. It is often difficult to stand out and prospecting on professional social networks (virtual or real) is a good way to stand out. One of the most effective techniques is to get in touch by recommendation. Select the people with whom you want to have a meeting and identify the contact people you share. Then ask these contacts if they would allow you to mention their name when you contact your prospective client. It is rare for a person to refuse a meeting with someone recommended by their network.
3- Build relationships over time
To increase customer loyalty, multiply the points of contact in the company; this will allow you to get to know them better but also to ensure your relationship lasts if one of your contact people leaves the company or their position.
Be useful; put clients who have the same problems or the same roles in touch with each other. Indeed, discussions between peers are generally fruitful for your contact people and put you in the role of partner rather than supplier.
Try to adopt the language of your client; very often companies use acronyms to refer to services or entities. If you get to know this internal jargon, they will feel as if you are one of them.
4- Use your internal resources
This is important for two reasons. First and foremost, when you come to a meeting with an expert from your company or your manager, this makes your client feel more important and gives them a sense of the high quality of your organisation. During this meeting, your client will re-examine their needs and place you in their environment, enabling you to identify the role and the value that the client attributes to you.