There is no better feeling than a happy client! Great relationships take hard work and it's most certainly a two-way street. Building strong client/stakeholder relationships certainly goes beyond what a quote or contract says.
This is a no brainer. Everyone is different and likes to work differently, which is why getting to know your client is key. For new clients, aside from understanding their business, you need to know who your client is, any existing insecurities they may already have and what makes them happy e.g. lots of email updates or weekly check-ins etc.
Tip – take your client out to coffee and get to know them. It is less formal and will give you another opportunity outside the board room to get to know each other.
Put yourself in their shoes. Give clients the same level of integrity and respect that you would want. Don’t forget - we’re all human and sometimes things don’t go to plan. Be open, honest and realistic about deadlines and don’t overpromise.
Tip - set realistic deadlines and share your working plan with your clients so they can see in real time what you are working on. This shows full transparency on the depth of work involved.
Predict their next move/questions - a great project manager, who knows their client well, can predict their next question, their hang ups and when they’re going to delay, hence why it’s so important to take the time to know your client.
Tip – if you have a gut feeling that budget is going to be tight, have a back-up ‘second option’ quote at a lower cost. It shows your client you’re considerate and want to make things work for them.
Proof your work. Now, we’re all guilty of this. Sometimes it can be so easy to miss small errors, so that’s why it’s always best to get a fellow colleague to check your work. There is nothing more embarrassing than sending something out with spelling and grammar errors. It makes things looked rushed, careless and super unprofessional.
Tip - anytime you’re sending a lengthy email, presentation, proposal or quote, get someone to double check your work.