How to Woo Clients and Collaborators
One of the best things you can do for your business is to really learn how to woo clients and people that you work with. You want to make people feel like they are the most important thing in your business – because they are! Your clients need to think they are the center of the universe when it comes to their projects, but so do the contractors and subcontractors. So how do you keep everyone happy? I have a few tips that really do work:
Yes, I talk about communication a lot! But that’s because it is the VERY BEST way to keep everyone happy. You want to keep your clients so up-to-date that they never feel like they have to check in with you. Your subcontractors need constant communication so that the job stays on schedule and on budget. And if there are any problems, good communication will keep it from blowing up to a huge issue. And for those of you who like to text – that doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you have to pick up the phone to have the best communication. Use my Team Notes Template to help you keep track of when and what you need to communicate.
2. Happy surprises
No one likes a “surprise” on a project that will cause a delay or a huge uptick in the budget. But everyone like little surprises that show you care! Bring doughnuts to the job site on the day the cabinets are installed. Send a gift certificate for an awesome restaurant to the contractor. Have a gorgeous bouquet sent to your client – just because! And always have your clients’ birthdays in a project folder. Include these expenses in your marketing budget. Because things like that make your subs want to work with you as often as possible. They make your clients want to recommend you to others. AND they also smooth the path for any bumps in the road as you go through a project.
3. Face problems head on
Every single project has an “uh oh” moment. It’s just the nature of our business. It’s what you DO when you hit those issues that really counts. The smartest thing to do is to find a solution as quickly as possible. And then to communicate what the problem is, and how you want to solve it, to your clients and collaborators. Don’t play the blame game – no one really wants to hear that. Just be upfront and honest, and tackle it directly with as little emotion as possible. People like to be presented with solutions, so offer up something right away and defuse any anger or frustration. Be the hero!
4. Love notes
A handwritten note is a true art – people love getting them! So be sure to show your “love” by writing thank-you notes to people on the job, and to your clients. I like to write them even months or years after the project is over, just to check in and show that I’m thinking about my client. It makes you top-of-mind with them, and reminds them of how much they liked working with you.
Use these ideas to woo new clients, to smooth any problems on current projects, and to keep relationships going strong for years to come!