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How to Build and Maintain Great Client-Consultant Relationships

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August 31, 2021
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4 minutes
Experienced copywriter who spends a lot of money at restaurants and regrets it later.

Why is building strong relationship with your clients important?

Well, the consultants who are good at client consultant relationship building are the ones who reach the highest level in their career. The reason behind that is simple: being talented doesn’t necessarily guarantee a higher position, you climb the ladder when you’re provided with opportunities to show your talent. And who provides these opportunities? The clients!

Being the best consultant you can be and producing exceptional results is crucial without a doubt. But client relationship building cannot be ignored either.

So, without further ado, here are the 5 actionable ways of creating lasting relationships with clients:

1. Understand Their Pain Points

In most cases, consultants are hired to solve a problem in an organization. You must identify what your clients' frustrations and goals are. Are they sick of their company’s low revenue? fed up with their high churn rate? finding it difficult to incorporate new technology into their business successfully?

You see, the very process of client relationship building starts with familiarizing yourself with their pain points. Client communication is a really important aspect of understanding pain points. We will discuss what client communication entails further in the article, but for this instance, it refers to communicating with your client and asking the right questions. You may want to design a different set of questions for different departments of the company—a CEO’s pain points may be dissimilar to those of a manager.

"Always begin with: 'So that I can better serve you, do you mind if I ask a few questions?'" - Jodie Shaw

2. Use a Client Relationship Management (CRM) System

So, what is a client relationship management system? Simply put, CRM tools can help you store all the relevant data about your customers and keep a track of all your interactions with them. You can even automate the sales process and some repetitive tasks. For example, if the invoices are overdue, a CRM system can automatically send your clients a range of well-structured and pre-written emails. Not only this, but CRM tools also help you nurture existing clients through drip campaigns and newsletters. This is an important tool for building great client-consultant relationship.

Keeping in touch with your existing clients is a great way to earn new projects and client relationship management tools allow you to do that very conveniently. Even though CRM software is beneficial for generating leads and turning them into clients, you should not underestimate their capability to make the post-sale experience better for both parties.

3. Be Really Good at Client Communication

This point deserves a separate article of its own, but we will briefly discuss some key steps that you, as a consultant, can take to get better at client communication.

  • Contact the designated contact person first: The CEO or top management may not always be able to respond to you, that’s why most companies assign a specific contact person to contractors and consultants. You should contact them first if you need to communicate something.
  • Use the right channel to communicate: Client communication is different from talking to your friends. Your buddies won’t mind if you message them on separate channels every day, but your clients would. So, if you usually talk on Slack, stick to it, and if it’s email that they prefer, then that should be your standard way of communicating.
  • Keep them updated: One of the major pet peeves of many clients is not hearing from freelancers and contractors after the project has started. So, let them know about the progress of the project as often as you can.

You must also remember to be professional yet empathetic while communicating with your clients. Consulting is one of those industries in which, after some time, individuals get very logical and start sounding like robots—avoid it at all cost and keep a human touch.

4. Take Feedback Positively and Make Changes if Necessary

We are living in the world of customer feedback. Whether you run a small cupcake shop in your hometown or a multi-million-dollar corporation in New York, people who do business with you will give you feedback at some point.

Feedback may seem disconcerting to some professionals, consultants included. But you must keep a cool head at all times and understand the clients' perspective, too. Consultants are problem solvers, and clients hire them with a lot of hope. With hope come expectations, and with expectations come feedback.

So, how to handle feedback like a pro? Well, first of all, know that not all feedback is negative. A lot of times, clients actually praise your work. And when it is negative, ask the client what changes they would like and how you can provide a better solution. Finally, if you’re confident that your approach is right, thank clients for their feedback and politely recommend them to stick to your solution. If they still don’t agree, however, make the necessary changes as directed and thank them for providing feedback.

5. Find Quality Clients Through an Online Consulting Platform

Let’s face it, no matter how hard you try, some client-consultant relationships simply don’t work out. And it’s not always the consultant’s fault—some clients are always too difficult to collaborate with. That is why you should prevent this problem in the first place instead of dealing with it. You can do that by finding reputable clients from an online consulting platform, such as Consultport.

Consultport gives you access to an exclusive network of pre-selected clients. You can work on exciting projects of your choice and even set your own rates. So, why not work on the best projects that also fit your availability and regional preferences?

We have over 3,500 highly skilled consultants in our network. If you have experience working in a top-tier consulting firm or a leading digital company, we’d like to hear from you.

Your dream project could just be a few clicks away. So, get in touch now!