Learn How to be the Best Team Player in a Client Consultant Relationship
You probably already know the root of every successful partnership is a foundation built on trust and respect. The interaction between client and consultant is no different. If you’re wondering how to make your relationships stronger in an effort to gain more clients and foster your business growth, look no further than adopting these three basic techniques.
Treat Your Client as an Individual
As an Independent, the work you deliver is generally similar in nature and skill requirement to that of past projects. Making your client feel unique - like an individual - with their specific set of needs is a soft skill that is not only valued but required. Therefore, respect for the Client also means viewing your project in a vacuum. Client needs and requests are (to them) most certainly viewed as unlike any scenario previously encountered. In practice, this highly unlikely - however, success hinges on the respect paid to each gate/milestone/bug. In other words, experience can be your greatest tool but also your greatest hindrance should it get in the way of proper the due diligence required to deliver quality work. When it comes to client retention, getting strong testimonials, positive referrals, or appreciation of the work you do and the effort you put in, success is defined in many ways - make sure you don’t overlook the softer side of the job.
Maintain Prompt and Professional Communication
At the heart of every successful relationship is strong communication. Clients must feel their Consultants place delivering quality product above all else. However, there are ancillary requirements to consider - time being one. As a baseline, be prepared to put in the time required to deliver quality work product but equally as important is extending your expectation of time spend to include strong communication, documentation and collaboration with a larger team as to extend your value long after the project culminates. The Inverse of this of course, poor communication, on the part of either the Client or Consultant will place any effort in jeopardy. Clients must support and drive the prioritization of the work; Consultants must to be aggressive in communication habits - ultimately both parties can benefit from keeping a check on their communication and making sure it shows respect towards the deadline or gate.
Bottom line, don’t rely on email when a situation requires a phone call and slow response times to email during a time sensitive issue can compromise the relationship and the project.
Going the extra mile and exceeding Client expectations shows how much you value the work and their business. Don’t over promise and underdeliver (or offer things that you can’t deliver at all). Consistently produce exceptional results is at the root of building a profitable relationship. Commitment to consistency and quality and the reputation will follow you from Client to Client and project to project. Word of mouth travels fast on the Bench Platform, a high rating will have you sought out by new Clients.
If you are new to consulting, you may not know how best to establish a strong Client|Consultant relationship. Through these three tips, pretty soon, you will have stronger relationships holding up your business.
Consider joining Bench, the ideal marketplace for forging loyal Client|Consultant relationships.