Your clients and customers are the bread and butter of your business. Without them, you don’t exist. But it’s a rare company that takes the time to deeply know their clients. “But we create client personas and we’ve conducted extensive market research!” you say. That’s just step one. Truly understanding your clients is an entirely different endeavor.
I’m going to run through an exercise with you to help you and your team members grow to understand client communication on a different level. This exercise is applicable to a business of any size. Consider your top five clients/customers. Do you have them in mind? Good. Let’s get started.
Evaluate Your Client’s Needs
This step involves active listening. This phase occurs before you’ve explained your services or product to your prospective client. When pursuing a new client, did you listen to their needs first? You’ve done something right, because they’re in front of you, but if you don’t listen to their story, their goals and how they think they’d like to work with you, you will be lost when fully pitching them your services or product. Take note of the following while they explain their goals to you (and expand on these questions as necessary):
- Are they detail-oriented or do they focus on the big picture?
- Are they short and to-the-point or analytical?
- What are their primary pain points?
- Do they value team work or do they seem to prefer to take the reins?
- Are they lighthearted and conversational or do they prefer to get down to business?
Write these questions down and briefly note them while your potential client or customer is speaking. But remember to stay focused on what they’re saying – not what you’re going to say next.
Hot tip: This can be done with current clients, too, to better assess how you work with them.
Explain Your Services/Product in a Way That’s Appealing to a Client’s Individual Learning Style
After you’ve come to understand your potential client, speak to them in the manner they prefer to be spoken to. Waxing poetic about your services to a person who is short and to-the-point isn’t the best idea. Consider, too, if the person with whom you’re speaking enjoys conversation. If so, let them engage in conversation with you rather than forcing them to get down to business. They clearly value building a relationship with you and it’s likely they work with people that they not only trust but also like.
Additionally, touch upon the pain points they’ve expressed and show how your service will solve them. If there was a specific service or product you planned to pitch prior to understanding their needs that no longer fits the bill, don’t pitch it. Irrelevance overwhelms.
Pick a Quadrant
Congratulations! Your client decided to work with you. But your discovery of who your client is doesn’t end here. Oh no, you’ve only just started. The most useful tool you can employ is this document. Use it to determine whether your client is a relationship master, driver, architect/analyst or spontaneous motivator. This will inform best practices for communication with your client.
Next, create a document that outlines your client’s personality and include their favored mode of communication (phone, email, or in-person), how to structure reports and meetings to best meet their personality, and how to speak with them in the manner that best fits their learning style.
Learn More About Client Psychology
We discussed this topic during our #OrganikChat on May 7. The discussion featured insight from digital marketing pros, consultants, students and more! Read the transcript here and join us every week for #OrganikChat, Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. PT. Tweet to the hashtag #OrganikChat and follow @SamHosenkamp, @Nicole_Barbato and @OrganikSEO for questions.
Visit our #OrganikChat Facebook group to keep the discussion going.
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “Customer Service on Social Media: Make a Great Impression.” Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today.