I do a lot of writing for a client about how important clear communication is for a company. For that client, we talk a lot about internal communications and how it not only makes a huge impact on employee engagement, but even the bottomline of the company. Communication is everything, in my opinion. If you aren’t communicating with your employees, you’re not bringing them into the culture of your company thereby building loyalty and tenure. If you’re not communicating with your customers, well it’s obvious, you probably aren’t selling as much as you could. And if you’re not communicating with your vendors, then why did you hire them in the first place?
Yesterday I had a meeting with a potential client. This was a first meeting. We’re just getting to know a little bit about their business, and vice versa. It seems I have a competitor out there who has a much lower rate but lost the business. Their biggest challenge with that vendor? Communication. Our team prides itself on being an extension of the internal marketing team. I meet regularly with our clients to be sure that we know what is actually happening in their business so that the verbiage we use in our message is not only clear, but makes sense. Sometimes a new product or service is launched, sometimes a new branding strategy is put together, and sometimes there are big changes in a business. We are part of those discussions and in the know on the business because we are there. We stick to our scheduled meetings. We show up.
In most cases, when I bring on a new client, I’m their contact. I’m the one who sold them the services, and I’m the one who continues to meet with them regularly. Why? Why not outsource it to one of my teammates? There are two reasons for this. The first, cost. I pride myself on creating a fee for service that is reasonable and cost-effective. That being said, most of the work we do for clients is done by the team. I don’t want to waste the employee’s time or the client’s money by spending an hour of the 35-40 hours budgeted that month sitting in on those meetings. Rather, we keep their hours limited to what happens behind the keyboard and we have a system in place for me to quickly report back everything that transpired and needs to be handled. The second reason? It’s not that I’m a micromanager who can’t let go. In fact, just the opposite. My one great skill is my ability to delegate – sometimes even to a fault. But if the client knows me, builds rapport with me and becomes my connection, then how could I just let them go? I need to see to it that the things we discussed in that very first sales meeting are still being delivered five years later. If I’m not meeting with the client, then how would I know if we are succeeding?
Business is about relationships – every business. That company I met with yesterday? It seems those client meetings weren’t taken as seriously and were often canceled. Listen, I’m someone who really does not ever cancel plans with a friend, let alone a client who is paying their bill. If I’m not meeting with the client, then how can we possibly BE that client online? We can’t.
In return, all we ask is that our clients communicate back to us. Going on Facebook Live? Great! Let us know when. Something changed in the scope of your business? Make sure we know. Having a sale, participating in a tradeshow or going to be on TV? Tell us. Communication. It truly is everything, and it’s what we take very seriously in this business. It should be taken this seriously in every business.by