Just got off the phone with a PR professional I recently hired to help market my book. We’ve been working together for a month, and I let her know I was unsatisfied with the work so far, since I hadn’t seen any progress. Happily, she went on to explain all the things she’d been doing — things which were invisible to me.
Here’s the point: When you sell a service that is done in your office (as opposed to in your client’s office), it’s worthwhile to help the client “see” what you’re working on. Particularly in the beginning — when they don’t yet have enough experience with you to trust that it’s all going as it should — the more you can do to keep them in the loop the better.
Examples of keeping them in the loop include a work plan for the coming weeks/months; brief, weekly email updates; scheduled weekly phone calls; or (depending on the kind of work you do) a look at your work in progress.
Experienced professionals understand the importance of getting some payment up front, before beginning work with a client. Keep in mind, however, that the client (who’s now paid you that money), expects something in return. The more you can do to assure them that the work is underway as promised, the happier a client you’ll have.
In my opinion, this is probably the single-best piece of advice you’ve ever given. Once we get into the habit of putting ourselves in our clients’ shoes (REALLY doing it, not just saying so), we could prevent so many misunderstandings.
This is an excellent point. I’m a career coach and I tell my clients that the real value of coaching comes in between our sessions when they complete our agreements and realize points of value as a result. Well the same thing goes for me. I often think highly of my clients in between sessions and it’s that directed thought that adds considerable value to our relationship. An occasional email or phone call letting them know that I’ve been thinking of them does wonders.
Thanks Tom, that’s a great point!
Great idea. I am sure working on getting better at it. 😉
Great tip. So now I’m curious. What does the pr professional give you as an update? weekly email, a call?
As a fee only financial planner, I make sure my clients get something free after they hire me. They receive an ebooklet of free financial tips and then 3 free financial tips every month from there on. Its been a big hit!
I got the idea from Blue Penguin’s promotion of constant contact email marketing awhile back.
Noa L. Fusco– http://www.noalessingfusco.com