Client relationships are everything. Maintaining a strong client relationship makes for a positive work environment, more productive and strategic planning, and a solid foundation for future projects. As a result, it’s up to every agency member at every level to foster those relationships.
A solid relationship takes time, and some of your colleagues have known your clients for years. How can you jump right in to be seen as a valuable and trustworthy member of your team? Now is a great time to practice the interpersonal skills that got you the job — you’ve already won over your colleagues, and below are a few tips to help win over your clients.
The sayings about a good first impression can’t be overstated. In a remote environment, it’s especially important to connect with the client on an interpersonal level from the very beginning. People want to work with those who want to work with them — so make sure your clients know you’re excited to be part of the team. Asking about a client’s weekend plans or joining in small talk before diving into an agenda makes the client feel that you’re not just someone they are required to talk to, but someone they genuinely want to talk to. This connection can serve as the foundation for building the culture of honest and open communication that agencies and clients strive for.
Part of the reason organizations hire an agency is because their values resonated with their team and their broader business goals. Familiarizing yourself with the values of your agency and actively integrating them into your communication with your clients will build trust organically. This means that as one develops their own personal style of communication, one should also incorporate the tone of their agency and its values. To do so, new employees should look through past documents and email exchanges with their clients and colleagues to get a sense of how they like to be spoken to and what communication they appreciate. For example, if a client really likes to get a coverage roundup in a specific format, jump right in and become the person they can count on to deliver it.
When In Doubt, Talk it Out
Jumping on a one-on-one call with a client can be a great way to get a mutual understanding of communication styles and clarify items discussed over email. In addition to saving time by eliminating back and forth messages, it also gives you the opportunity to build a more personal connection with the client and gives a voice to future email exchanges. Clients are more likely to remember you the next time they need something when they can put a voice to a name – which makes you a valuable and trusted member of the team.
Remembering that you’re there to support the client’s needs when entering into any interaction, especially at the beginning of your relationship will build a pathway for success as your relationship progresses. Be the person that your client wants to hop on a call with by bringing the energy from the start and getting a pulse on the style of communication that resonates with them. Building trust with clients is the first step in building a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with your agency.