When a client needs you to go above and beyond the scope of work to achieve their goals, how do you respond?
The Easy Way to Keep Long Term Clients
I believe that the easiest way to build loyal, long term clients is to focus absolutely on achieving their business goals, regardless of the terms of the initial proposal. A lot of people will probably disagree with me. Any little addition to the scope of work results in raising their prices. These people might be scared of being taken advantage of, or they may just want to ensure they are receiving as much as they give. However, there is a big difference between committing to your clients’ success and being taken advantage of.
What is your relationship to your client?
Business is not simply transactional. Anytime value exchanges between two parties, a relationship is formed. Value can be stored in money, labor, creation, ideas, or something else. The most lucrative business relationships are the ones founded on more than a trade. They are founded on good will, humanity, and altruism with a simple goal in mind – improving the lives of others. People go into business for many reasons, but the most successful spend their time helping people by solving their problems in one way or another.
I approach new business with a single goal: “how can I help this person get the results they want?” People aren’t stupid. It is obvious to everyone when a salesperson is only focused on making the sale and helping themselves, not on helping his or her client. Nothing is more un-appealing than an intensely self-interested service provider pretending to be interested in helping you. It’s why we hate door to door salespeople and telemarketers – if they were interested in bettering your life they would never have bothered you at home in the first place.
Clients realize you’re dedicated to them and their success, and that dedication is recognized. Going above and beyond for my clients has frequently resulted in referral work that has been far more valuable than if I had just raised my fee on the original client.
If we want to have stronger relationships with our clients, make more money, and have a more powerful and positive impact on our world, we all need to stop thinking about ourselves so much and start focusing entirely on helping our clients – regardless of the reward. After all, every business is a service business at the end of the day.