I was just reading an email from WordPress expert Chris Lema about his recent search for a new job. He was discussing what made him choose one employer over another. Something he said stuck with me because it could help you as you begin working with your clients, and as you continue working with current clients. Chris shared:
“Karim’s [Chris's new employer] focus, however, wasn’t on title or salary. His question was very similar to the question my current CEO regularly asks – and the reason I stayed at Emphasys for over 8 years.” “How do we keep you here for the long haul?”
What a simple, but powerful question! How can you use this with your clients? It’s easy. I’ll even suggest the words you can use for your situation. How about:
“Thank you for allowing me to work with you. I appreciate your trust in me, and I’ll work hard to maintain that trust always. What can I do to keep you as a client for the long haul?”
After you ask that question, don’t feed your clients with too many optional answers. Many of us tend to do that to make it easier on the person we are talking to. Ask the question, let them think, then let them talk. If they struggle a bit to think about what behaviors and results it will take to keep them happy, that’s okay. Be patient.
Make a commitment to say that to all of your current and new clients starting today. Also, program a time in your calendar to ask this question to every client once a year, even if you’ve discussed it already. People change. Their jobs and goals change. Their expectations change. Competition changes.
When you ask, I’d love to hear how it goes. If you can think of additional ways to ask that same question, please share them in the comments below, or let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, yes, Good Luck in your new job, Chris!