CPR: Client, Purpose, Results. How to Obtain, Retain and Deliver Results To Your Clients
When you think CPR, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I’ll take a wild guess and say it’s the lifesaving technique used around the world to help save lives. While CPR is very important, I want to apply it in another way: client relations.
Getting a new client is always exciting. The challenge lies in making sure you deliver what's expected of you while always treating the client with respect. The goal is to think long term: how can you build a professional relationship with a client? Granted, there will always be one client that turns out to be impossible to work with. But you are the professional. You must set yourself apart from the client and show them you are a valuable investment. Here are some tips to help you obtain, retain and deliver results for your clients.
Get to know who you're working with. Don't just create the same cookie-cutter strategy for every new client. Spend the time getting to know their organization, who works there, their mission and what challenges they face. Just because someone is coming to you for help doesn't mean they don't know if they are getting ripped off. The key is to be creative and connect with your client. Good communication is the foundation to client relations. If there isn't an open line of communication between you and the client, everything will begin to fall apart quickly.
Why are you even being hired? What is it you bring to your client no one else can? Be sure to define the professional relationship between you and the client. Any time I get a new client, I write out a request for proposal, or RFP. This lays out in print what exactly the client is getting from me, when it’s due, the price and how we will work together. This helps the client understand what they are paying for and gives you something to fall back on in case any questions arise.
Congratulations! You've got a new client. You've come to terms on what you will deliver, by when and how you will work together. Awesome. But, when it's all over, how do you measure how successful you were? To be great at freelancing, you've got to be willing to learn at every opportunity. Be sure to develop a way to measure how successful or unsuccessful you were in working with your client. When you deliver a brand strategy, a new graphic, or a copy to a client, always have proof of your results. How did you go from the client's challenge to your solution?
EXAMPLE: A client comes to you and says, “I want to see an increase of followers on my Twitter page.” Or “I want to increase the reach of my Facebook posts.” Write down in your strategy and aim to deliver a strategic goal you can show to the client.
Also, whenever I stop working with a client, I send a survey asking questions regarding our professional relationship.
• Did James Lambert Consulting address your communication goals?
• Would you recommend James Lambert Consulting?
• Would you be willing to work with James Lambert Consulting in the future?
These questions are key to evaluating how well you working with your client and if you need to rethink your strategy,
Working for yourself can be challenging. Not only do you have to play multiple roles (accounting, promotion, customer relations); you also have to deliver the work you promised your client. Just remember, if someone or some organization takes the time to sit down, listen and then actually pay you to do work, you must be doing something right. Always be humble, always be willing to learn, and always keep CPR in mind.