The Vital Role of Visiting Your Client
Are you visiting your clients enough?
As Part of your job as CEO of a consulting company, is to visit your clients. In this article I want to help you understand the importance of visiting your clients more and how it should be done.
"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else." Sam Walton (founder of Walmart)
The Client Is Part of Your Network
Visiting your clients gives them a sense of true partnership. It is not You and Them. It is Us - We are one. We have shared values and goals, and we can help each other by opening and sharing our network. “How can I assist you?” is a classic question at this stage. Your network can probably assist your client in various fields, and your client can probably introduce you to new prospects that can help benefit from your services.
Listen To Your Client
Often, your client can have vital input and feedback you need but lacks the opportunity and venue to pass it on to you. Information such as: changes in staff, new requirements, need of new consultation or they might even just need someone to listen to them.
Consultants are outsiders to the company, and therefore are, independent mirror that can give a fresh perspective than the one usually used in the organization. The consultant also doesn’t have any political ambition; Thus, they can feel free to speak honestly. This allows the client to share stories with you, stories they may never share with anyone inside the organization out of fear it might leak and harm them.
Give More Value To Your Client
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.” - Ken Blanchard
This quote says it all. A happy client is not enough. To retain your clients, you need to give them value - Give Them Pickles. True, the client is paying for work and products, yet they can choose to take their business elsewhere.
To keep your client satisfied, you need to give them more value than they expect.
When you visit, don’t forget to bring value with you. It can be a conversation on a new topic, a new article you want to share with the client or any other inventive idea. Tailor the “present” specifically to the client. Don’t give too much, that can be taken for granted and stop being treated as more value. Free billable hours, for example, not a good idea.
A Better Contract
When you visit your client, there are chances that new aspects of work may arise. That can end up with new work, making the contract longer or new avenues for growth for the company, even in places where the company has no services currently. Always approach that with sensitivity and don’t be a salesman.
Improve Employees’ Morale
When the CEO of a company, arrives at a site, and meets the employees it’s an important event for them. It gives them a good vibe and show them that the company cares about them and about the client. This is great for morale. You can even ask them to join you for lunch.
Visiting your clients regularly is important and you need to make it into a systematic affair. It is best to visit the person who ordered the work from you. The one that signs the work order and the monthly hours report.
It’s important to maintain a frequent (every month/quarter/year) visiting schedule to your client’s site (after coordination with the account manager). The frequency derives from the importance of the client to the company. Usually, the two go in direct correlation.
Use your CRM to make reminders and to define the frequency for each client.
You should make someone in charge of this as on-going project. Either the sales manager or the sales coordinator.
Good execution of the system will make it a great tool in the path to become an even more successful company.