Healthy Client Relationships
I try to give my clients more than what they pay for. Sometimes I might go too far making sure everything is going well for them. I might forget that one of the reasons I created a relationship in the first place was to make a profit.
The last few weeks I have been analyzing my profitability on many projects and I realized I was putting more resources in that what I was getting out. On some projects, I was going break even. These same clients that I make no money from are the same one’s always requesting cheaper rates and better deals. I handle many small businesses and large one’s and I sometimes have to say that the price I put on my services is one part of it. But there is something bigger to this situation and that is the appreciation of the work I do.
Some of these clients don’t understand the value I am giving them and the effort I am putting into the individualized services.
Educating the Customer
When I run into these scenarios, I sit in a meeting with them and I bring stats, list of accomplishments that have benefited my client, and any other items that prove that our efforts have over exceeded there initial goals and the Return On Investment they received.
Face to Face Meeting
I educate my customers via email with progress reports periodically depending on their preference. I sit down with my customer with no cost to them to make sure that they get what I am doing. Depending on the feedback and reactions, I come up with a solution or a better approach of attacking the clients concerns.
Set New Goals
During and after client meetings, we look at goals and adjust according to changes. We tweak and establishing new goals that will become mutually beneficial for all parties. If in this step of the process I see the client is still inclining towards his own benefits, then I have to start re-evaluating our relationship. I put every effort into making this work and I try to benefit my client as much as possible. But in the same way I take care of my vendors, I expect my clients to keep in mind that a healthy relationship can help both of us.
What to do with a Toxic Client Relationship
Well I would call any client who is just looking to squeeze something out of you without sharing any benefits a toxic relationship. The same way you go to many places and their employees give you terrible customer service because they hate their job, I always try to stay away from creating a negative relationship with clients. Many of you might want to stick with your client just thinking of the loss of income if you discard him. But I am talking about relationships where there is nothing to win with a high probability of losing money.
So what steps do I take to leave the client in a cordial way? I guess I will leave those for another post. I will be asking this question at Kitchen Table Companies (Affiliate Link) and those of you that are in the forum will provide individual, business acumen towards this issue.
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