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    Wrap-up Busy Season By Truly Connecting With Clients
    The Vault

    Wrap-up Busy Season By Truly Connecting With Clients

    May 2017

    During our own busy season, we touched on the importance of motivating employees and avoiding marketing pitfalls during your own times of intense deadlines.  But what happens when it’s all over?  Where do you go when the dust of busy season settles?

    Tempting as it is to go into hibernation mode (do you even remember sleep?), the time after busy season is the perfect time to forge deeper relationships with your clients, to go beyond the basics of getting business done and into more personal and deep conversations.  It’s a time to develop a true rapport with your clients, to get to know them personally as well as professionally.  Keep it casual, but aim to get a true sense of what’s on their mind -- goals, struggles, fears, and accomplishments -- again, in both professional and personal life.  

    Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

    1. Start with the personal.Approach post-busy season meetings the way you would lunch with an old friend.  You wouldn’t start that conversation by asking them to fill you on what’s going with work, would you? No! You’d ask about their kids, their dog, their hobbies, vacations, all the “good stuff”.  Do the same with your clients, and share your good stuff, too. Personal matters are what connect people to one another and add value to relationships.  You want that kind of connection with your clients.
    2. Slow down.Do not, I repeat, do not ever give a client the impression you’re rushed, especially when you’re in a post-busy season/relaxed/personal connection meeting.  Your entire focus needs to be on the client in front of you.  If you fake it, or keep checking your watch or phone, they’ll see right through you.  Slow down and take your time. Block out more time than you think you’ll need for this meeting.  Emotional connections aren’t made in perfect 30-minute blocks.
    3. Ask open-ended questions about their business.Every parent has learned that asking a child, “Did you have a good day at school?” will be met with an uninspired grunt.  Your clients might better squeak out an actual word, but asking a question like, “Is everything going okay with your business?” will likely produce a one-word answer that won’t give you a true picture of what’s really happening. Aim deeper with your clients.  Here are a few suggestions:
    • So tell me how the first few months of 2017 compare with last year.
    • What’s going really well with your business right now?
    • What’s not working?
    • Tell me what you want to see happen with your business this year.
    • What’s missing from our relationship, and how can I help you be more successful?

    And then listen.  Like, really listen to what your client tells you.  How you proceed to work for your client following this kind of conversation will make or break your relationship.

    Remember, in everything you do, your goal isn’t just to be the person that gets your clients’ business done; it is to be their trusted advisor.  That is true whether your job is as their CPA, their IT guy, their marketing consultant, their insurance agent, their realtor, or even their preferred retailer.  Building strong relationships post-season will ensure they see you as that trusted advisor, and turn to you time and again, giving you all the spoils of yet another busy season in the future.

    What are some things you do to connect with your clients, either after your busy season or throughout the year?  We'd love to see your input below!

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