Assuming a client-facing role can lead to some of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in your professional career. If you’re committed to fostering relationships with your clients that lead to long-term partnerships and achieving their company goals, we’ve rounded up some of the most essential skills that will contribute to that success.
Whether you’re trying to handle an uncommunicative client or you’re faced with a high-touch client who needs a little more attention than the rest, practicing patience will go a long way. Your client may be dealing with a set of stresses and challenges that you are not aware of, and the best way to help them work through those obstacles is to remind them that you’re invested in their success. Having a solid understanding of their role at the company is a great way to put yourself in their shoes and work together to create solutions.
Particularly if you’re working in a creative industry, staying innovative for your client will remind them of your value. From their point of view, they may be in a position that makes it easy to get lost in the day to day without thinking outside the box. Take pride in your role as their creative resource and make a point to continually present fresh ideas.
While your client has hired you to act as an expert in your industry, keep in mind that you may be able to learn a thing or two based on your client’s professional experiences and challenges. Leading with an ego rarely works to your advantage, so being able to listen and incorporate a client’s ideas will help them feel involved in the process.
Have Thick Skin
Real talk: If you’re working in a client-facing role, at some point you’re going to receive negative feedback and you’re probably not going to like it. One of the most essential skills is to be able to receive criticism and take it constructively to make yourself better. Your client will appreciate the fact that you honor their transparency and it will build a stronger relationship moving forward.
Educating your clients about what is realistic, profitable and relevant will set your business up for success in the long run. If you make false promises or do not set clear expectations from the very beginning, the lack of communication can lead to mistrust and damage the relationship in the long run. Make sure your client is well-informed about the process, communication cadence and any other elements that will factor into the relationship.
Most professionals in client-facing roles might agree that at the end of the day, your goal is to listen to your client and deliver the best you can. These essential skills, combined with effective communication, will set you up for a successful business relationship.
Story By: Sophie Duncan