I was working with a client a few weeks ago and we were discussing how to get Silvertrac's guard mangement software launched at a new commercial property.
"I'll just meet with my customer and ask them what they want me to setup..", was his strategy.
Maybe you're reading this and thinking, "that doesn't sound so bad, what's wrong with getting feedback from your clients?"
The problem with this approach is that this client was failing to be the expert in the relationship.. and that is a deadly mistake in this industry.
Your customers will certainly expect you to complete specific tasks at specific times. But even if you're not 100 percent sure what they're looking for, go into all meetings or conversations with a solid idea as to what would be best for them.
It may not be true, but to the client, you'll look lazy if you go in and just keep asking what they want you to do. Don't do the bare minimum, be proactive and take leadership in the situation. After all, you are the expert here, and you can recommend what is best for their business when it comes to limiting their risk and liability.
While being assertive may be a little intimidating at first, the benefits are worth it. Showing that you have a good understanding of the challenges their operation faces will help position you as a partner, not just another vendor.
You will also be questioned less about the work you're doing. Overall, being the expert is critical if you want to be competitive in the industry.
So, what are some ways you can show your expertise to the client? Here's a few
- Make sure the client knows exactly what your role is and how the work you do will positively impact their business.
- Surround yourself with new information relevant to your business. Always be on top of trends and how they can affect your client, positively or negatively.
- If the client isn't a fit, have the confidence to say no. Business isn't just about the profit, it's about the quality of work accomplished, and how it can benefit the client, as well as your company.
- Use data to show the client how your company will, or is, affecting their bottom line. Show that you're irreplaceable.
- Be credible. Follow through on your word, and always meet deadlines. Don't keep the client waiting.
- Keep track of new needs from the client and be able to show how you exceeded these on a regular basis.
- Ask questions (even the tough ones) to show you're interested in going above and beyond on this job.
Always remember that you are the expert in your field, and what your company has to offer is going to benefit others. Be proactive, become a trusted advisor, and you'll get generate more business opportunities as a result.