How to Set Up a Successful Collaboration with Clients
In reality, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is if you do not have clients and customers that are interested in using it. Collaborating with clients is a cost-effective way to expand your audience. You and your clients have similar goals of increasing your business and gaining clients. Collaborating with clients allows you and your client to grow a successful business by achieving different goals. Here are some key steps in getting and keeping those clients happy and satisfied.
Finding Your Happy Customers
Regardless of the success of your business, customers are key to growth and having a pipeline of new business is the only way to ensure you do not stagnate. To ensure that your pipeline is always full there are several key things that you need to do:
· Define your own strengths and weaknesses. It’s better to know and understand your limits vs. taking on work and disappointing new clients.
· Research your target market, what they are interested in and how your services can meet those objectives.
Once you have this understanding about yourself in mind, you can then move onto the next stage which is finding your ideal clients. To ensure that you are successful with this, you can do a couple of different things:
· Look for recommendations from previous accounts and customers. If you’ve done a good job for them, they are likely to give you a recommendation. In today’s social media-driven world, a positive recommendation goes a long way.
· Use online tools and local events to network with potential clients and customers. Ensure that you are visible on the internet with a detailed website that clearly defines your services and skills as well as contact details.
· Most importantly treat each client as your one and only. Focus on working well with and for them as they will be your source of future business and growth.
Once you’ve obtained that client though, it’s important not to start work on the project immediately. Before you get into it there are many different things that you need to understand and review.
Getting to Know More about Your Client and the Work
You should have a general idea about your client, their business, and what they do as well as the marketplace that they play in. Before you and the client look at facts and get into specific details regarding the current project, you both need to assess the work that needs to be done.
You and the client need to discuss the basics of the project, including how long it will take you to reach specific goals, the difficulty of the project, and getting to know more about your client and their company. Talk here about the estimated timeframe for completion and also the overall scope of the project including the resources that might be needed.
Once you assess the project that needs to be completed or the product that needs to be created, spend time defining the needs and the goals of your client also and how it will benefit them.
You should consider how your services will help their business in the short-term and long-term. It’s important here to clarify expectations from both sides as the client needs to provide clearly defined goals for you to be successful. It’s only when all parties are satisfied with the scope of the work that you should move on to the next phase.
Create a Plan That Makes Sense
You should have already established clearly defined guidelines internally on how best to work on different projects and with different types of clients. It’s important that you follow these working practices so that you know and understand what can be expected at the outcome.
In some cases, you might be partnered up on a project with another vendor. If this is the case, it is key that you treat that other party with respect. You should focus on your specific element of the project and ensure that you always put the overarching project goals first. As the project progresses, be prepared to make changes and adjustments based on the progress of the project and changing market conditions.
Finally, make sure that you follow the agreed on project timings. When you’ve committed to delivery at specific intervals, missing these milestones can be critical and can significantly disrupt a client’s business. As you progress through a project, be prepared to present your results and status regularly. This is a very important step as it helps reassure the client that you are on track.
Structure the Presentation
The end result of a project is important, but perhaps just as important is the presentation you provide to the client on project completion. The presentation needs to focus on the goals and how project completion helps the client achieve these goals. You want to be able to reflect back on the earlier conversations but also let the client provide comments on what they were satisfied with and what could have gone better.
As a project progresses it is important to solicit and listen to feedback on the successes and failures. Having an understanding of what you’re doing right or wrong will better position you with this client and future ones yet to come. In some cases the feedback might be negative – this is not an excuse to ignore it. All feedback is useful and even negative feedback can be constructive if correctly positioned.
Feedback actually does not stop after the project is completed. You can use this feedback for future projects and work with the client.
As you can see, working with clients is more than just working on a specific project. It requires time and dedication but if done correctly can reap huge dividends for your business. Once you’ve started following these steps you’ll see significant long term returns for your business which can include:
· Improved industry reputation which will help you gain more clients and business.
· Improved relationships with your clients which will help drive more business, and
· Ongoing business recommendations that will continue to help your organization grow.
For 25 years NIX has been practicing a unique approach to each project and client. We are known for rapid onboarding and solutioning, relentless pursuit of competency in all intricacies of relevant business processes and uncompromised commitment to clients’ best interests and success. The majority of our clients never end the collaboration or come back with repeat orders. We value all our clients, treat them as partners, work with them as one team and are grateful to them because they made our success possible.
At NIX, we open doors of opportunity that help you become a recognized leader in your industry. We’ll take an in-depth look at your company’s needs and provide solutions accordingly. There’s no job too big or too small for us. Whatever you need, NIX is up for the challenge. We offer software solutions, product development, and a variety of other services. If you’re ready to get your business recognized, NIX is here. Contact us today to learn about our services and the unique solutions we can offer your business.