Firstly, let me applaud you for being interested in client engagement. Not all client representatives would be, and your interest is the first step. Remember the movie, Caddy Shack? The groundskeeper was on a mission to “think like a gopher”. A winning client rep communicates to answer customer concerns. An IT person, user, admin, CxO – all these client constituents have different interests and goals with respect to your offering.
IT person: wants to be the maytag repair man; your service should never go down. And if you do – communicate with them on the hour so they can communicate with their users. Ask them about what technology their researching – share new ideas to find out what they are considering.
User: wants to do their job and get acknowledged for it. If you have a genuine way to high-five your client; do it! Again and again. What is their day in the life? Will they let you spend a day with them? What do they wish they could do with your products? Why do they come to work every day (kids? $$?); understanding user motivations and fulfilling them will build trust.
Admin: is the gatekeeper between you and the CxO. The CxO has given strict instructions to not let you through. How do you break in?? Cookies?? NO WAY. Gifts are only good when trust is established. Ask advice? YES! My rule of thumb to quickly build rapport is to 1) give a compliment, 2) ask advice, and 3) tell a secret.
Janie, thank you for answering so quickly [complement]. Our solution has just been adopted at XYZ [secret]; how should I share the great results XYZ is having with your CxO [advice]?
CxO: have very short attention spans. If you plan to make a phone call – write out your agenda and practice your compliment, secret, advice before calling. If you are sending an email – give no more than 3 value points. If you are reaching out on social media – be exciting and be brief – one value point. And be consistent. Social every 10-14 days. Any more is too much and an exec will likely unsubscribe.
The best way to find out what’s important to a client constituent is … ASK THEM! The best way to find out how often they would like to communicate with you is … you guessed it …ASK THEM!
Call – no more than 2x/month unless you are working on a project together. Do not expect a call back.
Email – at least 1x/mo and 2x/month is great – gives you the opportunity to provide meaningful updates without asking for something from the client. Do not expect a response.
Social – at least 10-14 days – 1x/ week is fine for some networks. Again, do not expect a response – use tools to see if your clients are clicking on links.
Stand by for Parts 1 and 3:
What Makes a Great Salesperson – Relationships or Behaviors? Part 1 of 3
Building a Relationship Team is Not the Same as a Pursuit Team. Part 3 of 3