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Building Client Relationships: What are the Steps?
Sean: Hey, guys! Welcome back to the channel. It’s me again, Sean Si, a.k.a Mr. CEO at 22, your host. If you’re new to the channel, please hit that subscribe button. That helps us out a lot. I’m not going to ask you to hit that like button and bell notification icon yet until you get some value out of this video.
For today, we are going to be talking about: How do you build profitable, long term relationships with your clients?
You see, when you close clients and when you look for clients, it’s quite difficult. It’s not easy to get clients nowadays and to make them sign contracts with you. I’m in the services business, so a long term contract is very valuable for me.
And if a client would churn, meaning they would not renew the contract in a short span of time or they would cut the contract midway, that is really damaging to my business. And I think that any and all other businesses desire a long term, fruitful partnership with all their clients.
Returning customers are the best kind of customers because that means they’re happy with you, they see you having a win-win relationship with them, and you don’t need to spend much more money advertising to them and marketing to them again.
But here’s the problem. A lot of companies today treat their clients or their customers in a transactional way. You buy something, we sell you something, we charge you, you pay. That’s it. That’s a problem. Why? Because people don’t like the feeling of just being sold to.
Let me give you an example. When you would go to a doctor because you’re experiencing a problem, which doctor would you rather keep going to? The doctor who will tell you, “This is your problem. Okay, here’s the medicine, here’s what you need to do. I need you to do these tests and that’s it.” Might be a good doctor, might be able to solve your problems.
But would you rather go there or to a doctor who would tell you, “Hey, how are you? What are you feeling? Oh, is that your concern? Here’s what I think is happening with you right now. And this medicine or these tests will reveal more about your situation. And the medicine I’m about to prescribe to you will help make you feel better in so and so ways.”
Which doctor would you rather keep going back to? Especially if they have the same level of skill set, they are able to solve the same level of problems. I could argue that most people would go to the latter doctor.
That is because we want to feel cared for by the professionals that we get, by the suppliers we get, by other companies who we are willing to do business with.
Another problem is there’s a lot of companies who see business as a win-lose or a lose-win scenario, and they always have to win. The relationship is just not there. It’s either we win because we make more profits, we make more money, and the clients, they’re not really going to be winning that big because we know our products and services don’t really go that far.
Or there are some companies who think that we’re actually on the losing end. We should have charged more. We should have done this, this, this and that. We should have added this to the contract. So we feel like we’re losing and the customer is winning. We’re not really going to serve this customer that well.
There are a lot of companies who deal this way, especially small to medium companies. And that is because they’re still studying how to improve and how to really solidify their branding, their product placement, their service placement in the market.
Another reason why it’s hard to build long term profitable partnerships with clients or customers is because companies tend to get too thrifty. In Tagalog, mabilang. You can’t be mabilang, you can’t be too thrifty because customers or clients will feel like you’re always trying to get the upper hand.
So in SEO Hacker, what we do is we give a lot of free stuff. We don’t charge clients for every little single detail they ask us to do, like changing banners, changing some designs, trying to see which fonts would work better or would look better. We don’t charge them for these things anymore.
We go the extra mile for them because we care about the relationship. If I would be too thrifty as a CEO, all of these things would have some form of bureaucracy. I would always ask the client to sign a new contract, pay for this and that, and it just adds a lot more friction to the relationship. And that kind of relationship will not go very far.
True story. I have a client who called me up one night. It was pretty late, and this person asked me, “Hey, Sean, can you help? Because one of our suppliers is going to put down our website.” Now, this person is not my client anymore during that time, but we know each other.
And he said, “My website supplier in host is threatening to put down the website and they only gave me five days. What should I do?” So I told this person, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll get your website, we’ll just scrape it, recode it however way we can. We’ll try to stay as faithful to the design that you have as much as possible.”
So I mustered my team and had the website recoded and it looked and felt exactly the same. That supplier put down the website of this friend of mine in just two days. This friend of mine called me again. He was panicking, saying, “My website is down, my website is gone, what am I going to do now?”
And I told him, “Don’t worry about it, we got you covered. Just point your domain name to this address and you’ll see it’s back up again.” Notice I did not talk shop with this person. I didn’t talk about how much I would be charging him. I didn’t talk about how much it will cost their business. I didn’t talk about timelines.
I just said, “Okay, you’re in trouble. Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll help you.” And what happened is his board called me up. They set a meeting with me, thanked me for what I did, and they said, “We will do business with you.”
That was nine years ago. And up to today they are still a very valued client of SEO Hacker. We have gone the long way because I wasn’t too thrifty, I wasn’t too mabilang, and I showed them that I have their best intentions at heart. And because of that, we have been able to experience a very good, long and fruitful partnership with this client.
Now, I do realize that not everyone has that opportunity to really genuinely help out a potential client in need or a previous client in need or a current client in need, but I’m sure that we all can do some little things to make the clients that we have right now feel like they’re cared for.
One of which is simply to message them, ask them how they’re doing, visit them in their office one day without having any agendas. Just say, “Hey, I just dropped by. So how are you doing?” Things like that matter a lot.
Maybe you can bring some food along with you or some drinks. It could be something as simple as coffee or wine. Whatever it is that you believe your client prefers, you can bring something to represent your goodwill to them.
One thing that you must do is to deliver your promises. Whatever it is that you agreed to deliver to them, whether it’s a service level guarantee, whether it’s a product that has a warranty, you have to deliver on your promises. Not delivering on your promises will break the trust between you and the client, and that relationship will really not go a long way.
One other thing that you must allow your clients to feel or your customers to feel is that you really care about their success. Whether you’re selling something that is small, maybe a gadget, or whether you are serving other businesses like we are in SEO Hacker, you have to make them feel that their success matters to you.
So for us, it’s about their ROI. We are a marketing company and what matters to our clients is they also make money from their websites. So us being able to deliver our guarantee to them ensures that they would also be able to experience a lot of success on their end.
Now, why would you want to do these things? You might be thinking it’s a hassle to do this, Sean. I don’t like to do that. Sometimes the client would ask me for more stuff when I visit their office. Sometimes they would ask me, “Why is this happening?” They would tell me some complaints, some concerns. That’s a good thing.
Complaints and concerns when taken constructively will help you improve your business. And one of the biggest reasons why you would want to do this, to visit your client, to ask them how they are, just have a good touchpoint with them, is because it would increase your bottom line, maybe not immediately, but clients who feel like you really care about them would talk about you, especially if you have given them a lot of success.
In SEO Hacker, we experience a lot of word of mouth marketing from our clients, and you can even visit our testimonials page in our website. There’s a link, you can follow that link here on YouTube that will take you to our clients testimonials page.
We shoot videos of our clients saying how they feel about our services, what we have been able to do for them, and also giving us a score from 0 to 10. Although some of them didn’t follow the rules and gave us a score of 11. I’m grateful and thankful for that of course.
You could also get more business from them if they have more businesses to give you or if you grew their business enough that they have opened a lot more branches or they’ve open a subsidiary company. They might also be thinking of giving that to you if you have done a fantastic job, they feel like you care about them, they feel like you care about their success as well.
So here’s my challenge to you. If you have clients or customers, do send them a message. It could be as simple as a text message, a Viber message, maybe an email and ask them how they are without talking shop, without talking about work, just making sure that they feel like you care about them.
I hope this video has helped you out and if it has, please hit that like button and that bell notification icon so that people who might need to hear this and learn from this video would be able to do so because the YouTube algorithm would serve this video to them as well.
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