Do You Start Your Relationship Off on the Right Foot?

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By Glenn Pasch

One of the first things we do when a client has signed on is to have a start-up call with their team.

Dur­ing this start-up call, we walk them through a shorter sum­mary of our ini­tial goals and rec­om­men­da­tions for their com­pany to out­line our work to those who may not have been on the ini­tial sales call. We want every­one to be clear of our start­ing point. We have the mem­bers of our team who have worked with the poten­tial client from day one on the phones so our cus­tomers begin to under­stand right from the begin­ning that our whole team is avail­able to help them achieve their results.

STEPS FOR A GREAT START-UP CALL

Step 1: Con­duct and present a for­mal assess­ment of the client.

Doc­u­ment­ing and review­ing the ini­tial assess­ment of the client is very impor­tant because it shows where you began. By doing so, you have clear tan­gi­ble num­bers that you can com­pare your progress to each month or quar­ter. With­out it, your effec­tive­ness is diluted and left to fad­ing memories.

Step 2: Be spe­cific in what will hap­pen over next few months.

We dis­cuss the work­flow we will use as a frame­work for our monthly tasks for the next three months. Do not go fur­ther than that time period for now. Peo­ple can­not remem­ber or take in more that that time­frame. Explain­ing what is going to hap­pen will give the cus­tomer com­fort in a schedule.

By doing this you also leave noth­ing to the imag­i­na­tion. It removes the unwanted response, “I did not under­stand that is what you wanted.”

Step 3: Make sure you tell them what is expected from them.

Every suc­cess­ful ser­vice provider needs inter­ac­tion from the client. In our case it is pass­words and logins to accounts like Google Ana­lyt­ics, Social Media sites, busi­ness list­ing sites, etc. We also lay out items we will need from them each month such as events they may be doing, spe­cials they are run­ning, tra­di­tional ads they run, etc.

Step 4: Communications

This may be the most impor­tant step for long-term suc­cess. How often do you speak to your client? For our com­pany we have imple­mented a weekly call strat­egy for most of our clients. This has been the end result of try­ing many dif­fer­ent ways over the last 3 years.

My rec­om­men­da­tion is to sched­ule the call. Do not leave it to just call the client when you have time. Every­one is busy but if you set a time each week, then it is on everyone’s cal­en­dar and is looked at as important.

I also rec­om­mend that the deci­sion maker be on at least every quar­terly call if they can­not make at least the monthly call. Remem­ber these are set times where the account is dis­cussed but we stress to all of our clients that we are avail­able at all times if they need us.

By focus­ing on mak­ing sure your clients under­stand what you do for them, and com­mu­ni­cat­ing at set inter­vals, they will feel that you view the rela­tion­ship as a part­ner­ship, not just a number.

Glenn Pasch is CEO of PCG Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing, as well as a writer, national speaker and trainer. Read the full arti­cle here.

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