Earn the loyalty of your very busiest clients

Your busiest clients can have very full plates. Make sure you don't add to their burden.

Your busiest clients can have very full plates. Make sure you do all you can to ease their burden.

By Michelle van Schouwen

Let’s assume that your busiest client has little time even to contemplate the services you provide.

This is often the way it is for small companies providing business services such as accounting, insurance solutions, legal services, or management consulting to busy clients. It can be true even during those times when your client urgently needs your services.

Please note, we are not talking about the kind of “busy” in which a working person creates a flurry of unnecessary activity. We’re referring to the productive client who travels weekly to work with multiple, distant customers; or who develops or reviews important engineering specs or new product prototypes; or answers daily to a board or parent company; or must assure a sales team meets its revenue numbers. (Sometimes this is “and” rather than “or.”)

When you deal with an exceptionally busy client, it becomes your responsibility to meet stated goals, on time, on budget, and in a manner that makes the client company (and your client contact) shine.

Specifically, you must…

-Provide smart strategy and program implementation… as independently as warranted.

-Assure proactive forward movement on your initiatives, even when your client is devoting the lions’ share of her time to other matters.

-Do your homework so the questions you ask your client to answer aren’t ones you could have researched online or in other public records.

-Ping the client efficiently for real needs – specific information, approvals at key junctures, etc.

-Keep the client in the loop when you achieve successes or reach project milestones.

-Alert the client for any challenges that require his/her attention, preferably also providing recommended solutions.

-Supply the client with new opportunities and optimized ways to achieve business goals.

-Meet and exceed the client’s needs.

You may be surprised that the loyalty you earn is based not only on the end results you provide, but also on the style by which you provided these results. Your busiest clients will typically recognize efficiency, effectiveness and thoughtfulness – qualities they likely values – in you and your team.

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Michelle van Schouwen is president of van Schouwen Associates, LLC (vSA), a B2B marketing company based in Longmeadow, MA. The company is known for vSALaunch, its proprietary, modular and scalable system for B2B marketing launches, vSAConsult, its executive-level strategic planning capability, and for its expertise in integrated marketing for B2B. 

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