Growing your business and making it successful isn’t always about hiring the best set of employees or promoting your brand endlessly using all types of marketing tools. Most of the time, it’s about how you build strong relationships with your clients. Your clients are the most important part of every business, regardless of what industry you belong to. Without them, you won’t have any sales, and eventually, no gain and profit.
You establish strong relationships with your clients by building rapport. Rapport means building a meaningful and close relationship with other clients. The stronger your connection with your clients, the more likely they’ll trust you and become loyal clients for your business. What’s more, their loyalty and trust in your company could also lead them to recommend you to their friends and family.
Below are seven surefire tips to help you establish rapport and make long-lasting connections with your clients:
1) Ask Their Names
For starters, it’s hard to make connections with your clients if you don’t know them, much less their names. Therefore, every time you welcome new clients into your office, make it a habit to ask their names first and introduce yourself in return. Don’t just wait for them to fill up a form so you can read their name and start calling them by it.
Once you know their names (and their faces), make sure to remember them. Even if you’re not fond of memorizing names or faces, make it a point to remember people. You can do this by taking note of them in your files or your notes. Remembering your clients is a great way to build trust and pave the way for good communication.
2) Provide Helpful Information
Often, clients come to your office to either inquire about your products and services or raise their concerns. As much as possible, use your listening skills to grasp their story and the emotions they feel, especially if they’re complaining. Just because you have complaining clients doesn’t mean you’ll lose them forever.
You can still get their trust back by doing all you can to provide helpful information and a proper solution. For instance, you can offer them business insurance during their first transaction with you as this will protect them in case of any problems or losses along the way. When they feel like they’re heard and helped, they’ll more likely trust you and do business with you again in the future.
3) Encourage Them To Open Up
When your clients are within your company premises, make them feel at home or more comfortable by getting them to talk about themselves. You can do this by asking about their interests, hobbies, or what they expect from you. Most people love to talk, especially when it’s about themselves.
When you let them open up to anything they want to talk about, they’ll soon build a bond with you. Just make sure that while they’re opening up about themselves, you’re attentively listening and showing genuine interest. So, be curious, ask them questions, and help them open up to you about anything, whether it’s business-related or not. Most importantly, listen to them without any judgment.
4) Find Common Interests
While you’re making a bond by letting them open up, you can further strengthen it by finding common interests from each other. As they talk about themselves, make sure to pick up some parts of the conversations which you think align with your interests. For instance, if they’re talking about sports and you also happen to love it, then talk to them more about it. Finding common interests will make the conversation easier and more natural.
5) Spend Time Together
You’ve probably spent time with your clients within your office and nothing more. But if you wish to establish a stronger rapport with your client, it might be a good idea to spend time with them in person, if possible. For instance, you can invite them for coffee after you’re both off to work.
If you’re on a business trip and you happen to be in the same town with one of your clients, inform them and invite them for lunch out. Meeting up in person outside your company premises will give you more chances to build trust, improve client satisfaction, and show your personality with each other.
6) Ask Their Suggestions
Asking your clients for suggestions will make them feel like you value them and their word. So, if you’re having concerns about your business or other things (e.g., directions, product recommendations), try to seek their advice. Doing this will make them feel comfortable and valued.
7) Compliment Them
Even a small compliment can go a long way towards building solid connections with your clients. Just make sure to find that fine line between giving a compliment and being flirtatious and unprofessional. As much as possible, keep your compliments sincere, genuine, and formal. For instance, you can complement your clients about their fashion. Then, if you’re familiar with the brand they’re wearing, you can praise their style choice and talk about your shared interest in the same brands.
Rapport is one of the crucial interpersonal skills that every professional should know and have. It’s often built in the long term, but you’re never too late to establish it quickly by starting today. So, check these tips and find which ones you think you need to work on more and make sure to improve them.