8 years ago
April 18, 2016

How to Build Stronger and Longer Lasting Client Relationships

Let’s look at the ways you can build stronger client relationships using the activities you already do on a day-to-day basis.

Rhys Metler

When it comes to sales, relationships are the key to your long-term success. When you build stronger client relationships, you enjoy more repeat sales, referrals, and networking opportunities. Stronger client relationships mean more prestige and security. Best of all, when you build stronger client relationships, you find deeper satisfaction and meaning in your work.

Let’s look at the ways you can build stronger client relationships using the activities you already do on a day-to-day basis.

Solve Problems

There’s a big difference between sales reps who focus on solving problems and sales reps who focus on making sales. Focusing on making sales is the short-sighted viewpoint. It gives you a do-or-die approach to your contacts with clients, and although this approach may force a few sales, it does nothing to build stronger client relationships. In fact, it often drives clients away because they feel they’re only being used by you to meet your own goals.

Instead, focus on solving your clients’ problems. To do this, you first have to develop your listening skills so you can really understand the problems they’re facing. Once you truly understand their problems, you can use your expertise to develop solutions. We all have problems, and if your clients feel that you’re a trustworthy person they can turn to (or send their friends to) when problems arise you will not only make a sale, but you’ll also gain trust.

Remember Events and Milestones

Can you ever really dislike someone who remembers your birthday? Of course not. When you take the time to congratulate a client on a promotion or send a birthday card, you make a valuable investment in that relationship. 

It takes time and effort to remember clients’ birthdays or keep track of important milestones in their lives, but there are tools to make this job easier. LinkedIn and other social media sites can send you reminders of birthdays, promotions, anniversaries, and so forth. If you don’t want to rely on social media, you can enter birthday and other information into your contact software and send yourself reminders.

Be a Colleague

Some sales people like to represent themselves as more knowledgeable or higher ranking than their customers, and while this might elevate their perception of you, it’s not a great way to build stronger client relationships. Other sales people position themselves as inferiors to their clients, behaving like lackeys, willing to do whatever the client wishes and constantly demeaning themselves. This is also not a good approach if you want to build stronger client relationships.

If you’re really trying to establish a relationship that will last a long time, emphasize the fact that you’re colleagues–equals–and you both have valuable things to offer in a balanced, give-and-take relationship. In any long-lasting relationship (friends, co-workers, spouses, siblings), there’s a balance, and it’s important that you strike that balance with your sales clients if you want to build stronger client relationships.

When you focus on solving problems instead of making sales, remember events and milestones in your clients’ lives, and position yourself as a helpful colleague, you will build stronger client relationships and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Over the years, your clients will send you referrals and buy from you again and again as you prove yourself to be valuable, helpful, and loyal.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.