10 Activities to offer Value to your clients

Quelle: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-activities-offer-value-your-clients-matthias-von-mitzlaff?trk=mp-reader-card

Find below a list of activities that have a rather low effort, yet imply a certain value to your clients.

Approach your most important customers in a regular fashion. Beware: stay unobtrusively and show honest interest. This will enable you to sense the current mood of your counterpart and makes it easier for you to identify his pain and needs. I have a rule not to let go by more than three months after having had a client contact to get back to him. Face-to-face contact is, of course, the best way and has more quality than virtual activities or contact via telephone.

May it be a birthday, anniversary, or a particular success; there are countless milestones in our client’s lives that we could use as a useful anchor to compliment them. If this helps deepening our relationship to these customers, even better!

For many individuals in our culture it appears difficult to openly show thankfulness. This is potential that we not fully use to create an improved interpersonal climate and good vibes on both sides. I personally think that showing gratitude is one of the most cost-efficient “tools” for actively improving your very personal relation to your clients.

Whenever you find an information that might be of value for your customer, pass it on instantly. Presentations, quotes, advertisements, web videos, any tips – the categories are numerous. This approach has two significant advantages: a) You do something meaningful and useful for your client, b) You create a further contact point with your client. Important condition for this activity: It needs to be quite probable that your client finds your input useful (please acknowledge that the border between “useful” and “obtrusive” is fluent). I maintain a list of potential inputs for my clients that I continuously keep updated. To be aware of what I sent to whom I keep this information updated as well.

If a client is prompted to choose between providers who offer quality on a similar level, who will he probably choose? Usually the one that gives him “a good feeling”. And this is exactly what you should also strive for: Lift your client’s emotional state to a different level! For clarification: I am not interested to serve the cliché of a hyper-praisal activity towards clients. When our client is in a problematic or distressed state, it may even be counterproductive to approach him in a cheerful way. What I am looking for is to use small gestures in an empathetic way to transform my client in a manner that he feels just a little better after I have ended my contact with him. In emotionally challenging situations with clients, I always ask myself: “What can I do just now to create a slight smile on my client’s face or that enables him to let of some steam so that he feels a bit better afterwards?”

If you do not have any skills for coaching others I advise you to acquire these in the near future. According to my experiences, coaching is about dealing with essential topics such as discussing questions like „Who am I? What do I want? Where do I want to go?”. This mutual exploration process is triggered by the coach in a rather inquiring and reflective way. A good coach is rarely advisor but rather an individual with good questions. You will often be in situations with your clients where you can coach him, e.g. identifying problems (What is it about and what is the cause?), clarifying needs (What does the client need currently?), or finding a future way (What are attractive visions for the client? Which realistic goals can be derived from these?). Do not hesitate to learn a few useful coaching techniques (please learn from professionals) and the supportive attitude of a good coach and compose a helpful list of coaching questions that you can use with your client. This is your way forward!

Whenever you had a touchpoint, create a short follow-up and send it to your client. I emphasize the word “short” because clients usually don’t have the time to read minutes of several pages (rule of thumb: minutes are one A4 page long, not more). This approach has three advantages: a) You summarize the essence of the discussion and give your client the opportunity to give feedback, b) You show your engagement and your competency to precisely recap the topic and c) You and your client have a great reminder for the next steps and the next touchpoint (What have we discussed the last time?…). I am repeatedly surprised that many business interactions are either not documented at all or in a much too extensive way. For example, I got used to always document bilateral coachings and consultations. Therefore, I send my client an email after our session that comprises the collected results of our get-together (e.g. as a photo protocol), stimulating questions for the current situation and recommendations for his further proceedings. Surely, I do this with self-interest. Having this documentation available, it is much easier for me to pick up the thread again after a certain time with my client.

The internet allows us to make others acquainted with each other in a very straightforward manner. Web portals like linkedin or xing offer a variety of useful functionalities for this. Use these actively, in particular with your clients! An example: Recently, during a coaching preIiminary talk, I found out that the main interest of the prospect was not really to attend a coaching but rather to get help for a job application. Therefore I brought her together with a job application expert that I knew well. My prospect has liked this move of mine apparently so well, that after a certain time she came back to me to ask for a real coaching. Mark this: Clients acknowledge it very well if you are able to respond to a request in an honest way, stating that you may not be the right person for the job in question. Ideally, you have a suitable expert at hand and can point your client/prospect to this person.

I hereby claim that in the current times of stimulus satiation and real-time access to endless information the person is ahead of others that is able to be mentally and physically highly present with his clients. Create rules that make sure that you transfer this activity into client contact in a reliable way. A few examples:

I never pick up the phone during a face-to-face conversation with a client. Before approaching a client I make sure that he/she is receptive (a basic rule that is often violated in business). Using useful techniques I frequently during the day make sure that I am and stay in a “present state”. (There is a big number of helpful methodologies, e.g. autogenous training, bodyscanning, breathing techniques, etc. Investigate a little and choose the right method for you.) Negative example: I recently sat together with a colleague and an important client in a meeting. During the meeting my colleague repeatedly looked on his smartphone to check any messages (he then appeared quite absent). Afterwards, in confidence my client gave me a negative feedback towards my colleague.

There is always a clientele, that would go for you but is basically very skeptical, leading to a certain “persuasion hurdle” that you need to master. In this case, it might be useful to offer a “sample” service after which your client can decide: Is there appetite for more? Or is it better to stop here? Important: you should tailor the sample service in a way that still shows the attractiveness of your service portfolio, however, not so much that your valuable energy is wasted without getting any compensation for your effort. For example, my coaching sessions always follow a free-of-charge preliminary talk (usually via telephone). This conversation usually lasts for 30 minutes and has benefits for both parties: it gives me (as coach) valuable hints for the actual coaching (including answering the question if a coaching is applicable at all) and it already shows my counterpart my style of working judging from the way I ask and lead the exchange.

Apply a few or all of these tips and become a MASTER in the art of providing value to your clients!

If you liked reading this article, may want more and are a German native speaker, you might be interested in this E-Book:

https://www.amazon.de/Mehr-Wert-Kunden-schaffen-erfolgreicher-ebook/dp/B01LWR9SH6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475665354&sr=8-2&keywords=mehrwert+kunden

  • valueclient.txt
  • Last modified: 2017/01/17 14:15
  • by aweihs