Smooth Operator – 5 Tips for Taming Tough Clients and Business Contacts
Sometimes, roles in sales, account management, client relations, and the like can feel like lion taming. Instead of doing your job, you’re appeasing clients, putting out fires, and smoothing things over to keep everyone happy. Spend enough time doing this, and you’ll likely burn out before long. Do you want to know the secret to becoming a smooth operator? Read on to learn five tips for taming tough clients and business contacts. You’ll be in the driver’s seat in no time.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Gifts
In many cases, your toughest clients are also the ones you rely on most for your business income. Therefore, you have to keep them happy to ensure the money continues rolling in. One way to achieve this is with corporate gifts or a thoughtful gesture of some kind.
Whether you’re celebrating a business anniversary with that particular client, or you’re trying to oil the squeaky wheel, gifts can help. Offer a candy jar with your branding, a coffee mug, or even some corporate notebooks or stationery. You get the advantage of brand recognition, and the client gets to feel valued. It’s a win-win!
Use Data in Your Favor
There are many ways to get new and existing clients on board for different products and services. What you may find, however, is that data talks. People want to know what results they can expect; they want reliable details when it comes to their projected success rate.
If you’re walking into what you feel will be a complicated deal, come prepared with information. If 95% of clients who used your product or service saw results, then lead with that information. It’s human nature to then want to hear how, why, and at what cost. You’ll tame that tough client in no time.
Rely on Endorsements and Testimonials
You can’t always trust anonymous online reviews, especially for products. Anyone can say something good or bad with no repercussions. In the business world, however, an endorsement or testimonial means everything. If a business states on the record that they trust a product, service, or provider, then that information can play into your hands.
You can go into a meeting with a tricky client and show them what others are saying about you. Where possible and with approval, provide them with contact information for them to speak with those who rated you highly. That tough client will melt like putty in your hands.
Don’t Play the Blame Game
When something goes wrong, and you’re in the firing line, it’s easy to go into fight or flight mode. One of the most common mistakes business professionals make is shifting blame for an error.
While it may feel like you’re dodging the heat, in reality, you’ve shown your client that there is a weak link or incompetent staff member in your company. If something goes wrong, promise to look into the matter, and don’t be afraid to talk up your team, not down.
If it’s been a rough road to get a new client on board, then it’s crucial to have a paper trail. Make sure you document everything to do with what you promised, what you offered, and what the client expected. Having a written record of everything can help solve problems or clear up miscommunication down the line.
It would be nice if all clients were easy to deal with and were happy with 100% of what you had to offer. In reality, that’s not always the case. However, these five tips should help you keep new and existing clients satisfied, now and into the future.