1. The first step to having a good relationship (in business of course) with your client is to take on good clients in the first place. Don’t feel obliged to chase down every client that sends flirting glances in your direction. You could be ‘jumping into bed’ with a client that others knew not to touch.
2. Some clients just aren’t right for you. It’s not you, it’s them. (a) Some clients are too big. You’ll be lured by the big bucks, but when they should decide to leave, remaining will be a gaping hole in the heart of your business. (b) Some clients are too small. If possible, check to see if they pay their bills (or request some upfront payment on larger invoices), and that you won’t be spending all your time and effort educating them on ‘the process’ of working together. Find the client that is just right, to avoid a painful divorce.
3. Anyone can compete on price, but not everyone will compete on service. To give yourself a more valuable position in the relationship you need to make the transition from being just a vendor with services to being a strategic partner with their business interests at heart. Make yourself indispensable from your clients selling process. The more valuable you are to the client, the more love will be returned back to you.
4. Find clients who believe that good design and advertising are important for the success of their business. You need to both be heading towards the same goal to achieve good results. You need the client to respect the good quality work you are striving to achieve, and you also need the client to be open and willing to share their knowledge of their market and industry.
5. Talk to others outside the relationship for ideas. Industry magazines and websites in your clients niche will be happy to talk to you as you are working with a company that may potentially place media advertisements. They may have research information that is advantageous to your client. Talking to others and reporting the free (but valuable) information back to the client will let them know you care.
6. Help to make their product or service better. Supply your expertise to overall improve your clients offering. If your clients business grows, so will yours along with it.
7. Make sure you respect yourself as much as the client by ensuring you are profitable. If a client respects your professionalism they will want to make sure you are getting paid fairly and on time.
8. Ideally have one point of contact. The less staff with the authority to approve your work the better the communication and process will be.
9. Don’t deliver late or spend more of your clients money as promised.
10. Pay attention to the little things. It’s usually not the big mistakes that will break you and your client up, but the ongoing many little mistakes.
Put all these tips into a pot and stir, and you’ll have the perfect love potion for you and your client. Please feel free to leave feedback on this article. Do you have any other pointers to get your client to love you?