A relationship in any context is important to uphold; we need to keep our significant others happy, our family happy, and most importantly our clients happy. How can we do this? Open communication. Your clients are great resources; they are the true experts of the product or solution that we, as Business Development Representatives, are finding opportunities for. So we need to maintain an open, communicative relationship with them.
I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way, and want to share what has been working for me.
Start with a solid foundation: First impressions count. Whether it’s a conference call or an in-house meeting, you have to make an impression that will last. Be fully prepared with questions to ask your clients and listen completely to what they are teaching you about their product. After all, they trust you to make a lasting first impression to their potential customers.
Establish methods of communication: Make sure to have phone numbers, email addresses, chat names, etc. handy. Establish a preferred method of communication. Respect the client’s time and space, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. The client would rather you have the most up-to-date information about their product.
Have weekly meetings to update the client: Once a week, set aside a half hour or so to catch up with your client. Give them any updates on opportunities that have been uncovered, conversations that you’ve had, and trends that you’ve noticed in their industry. This information is a tremendous help for the client and enables them to provide you with relevant feedback.
Build a Relationship with your outside reps: The outside sales reps you support can contribute greatly to your success. Utilize them as a resource for messaging and high priority target organizations. Remember, they have probably been in your shoes and know exactly what you are dealing with. Chances are they were successful, since they are now closing deals.
All in all, communication matters. I’ve been lucky enough to have clients and sales reps willing to chat at the drop of a dime, and it adds an immense amount of value to the work and opportunities that I pass over to them.