Episode 44 – Managing Your Clients

“Managing your client is an important part of building a successful business.”

Today on the Coachcast we discuss the importance of managing your client.  We mean managing, not manipulating!

Managing your client is an important part of the Elite Contractor process.  In order to build raving fans you need to continually manage your clients in addition to your projects.  Building great projects alone will not set you apart from your competition but a great relationship will.

When we talk about managing your client we want to be clear, this is not about manipulating your client.  We must be authentic and guide our clients to make the correct decisions regardless of the impact to us.

If you practice this properly it will build tremendous trust with your clients and build them into your biggest fans.  You want to be sure that when your clients have an issue, you are the first one they call.  The result will be strong relationships that continue to build that bond that makes them want you back and not your competition.  It can also result in opportunities that otherwise may not have existed or gone your way.

[tweetthis]Managing your client is an important part of building a successful business.[/tweetthis]

Several years ago I was working with a client on a chemical plant and we were one of 4 contractors in his pool of approved vendors.  He had a problem that was outside of the standard maintenance arena but needed an immediate solution.  He had a culvert wash out on a main road inside the plant and needed a fix.  He asked me to take a look and offer any suggestions that may help.  His original thoughts were to get a temporary solution until he could get an engineered solution.  I recommended he ask for Design/Build proposals from his approved maintenance contractors since we could design and implement a permanent solution in about the same time we could have a temporary solution in place.  He was very grateful, took my advice and issued an emergency RFP for a D/B solution.  To my advantage, I was the only contractor in the group that had the in-house engineering staff to complete the project, the rest had to go out and hire a consultant.  We were awarded the project and my client won too.

Managing your client is not that difficult it just takes a small shift in our focus.  We need to remember to be authentic and honest when dealing with our client. continue to share knowledge and act like a consultant for them.

When you are dealing with your client always be authentic and honest.  This builds that level of trust that allows a solid relationship to build.  Always be ready to offer advice to your clients even if it means they don’t give you the big change order.  Trust me, there will be other ways to earn that money, this is about providing value.  To really make this work you need to practice putting on a different hat (figuratively) and thinking like a consultant working for your client.  This may mean that sometimes you need to call your team or subcontractors out and make sure they are doing the right thing for your client.

The important thing to remember here is we are not manipulating our clients, we are managing them and helping them solve the problems they hired us to solve.

Take-Action Items

  1. Remember to be authentic and honest with your clients

  2. Share knowledge and educate them, provide back-up information not just opinion

  3. Act like a consultant working on behalf of your client

Outline

Managing Your Clients

What:

  • Educating them to make the right decisions
  • Letting them know what to expect
  • Protecting them against things they don’t understand

Why:

  • Builds trust and relationships
  • Turns clients into raving fans
  • Allows you to move things towards your strengths

How:

  • Be authentic and honest
  • Share knowledge and give back-up not opinion
  • Act like a consultant
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