I’ve been an Account Manager here at Fluro for the past two years, and my key account is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. When I first joined, we were working with two main marketing managers and now we’ve gone global and growing our business, we’re working with different marketing managers from around the world.
Here are my 5 top tips for successfully developing the relationship with your client and growing your account:
1. Try to do things face-to-face
Nowadays, it’s so easy to send someone an email and face-to-face meetings seem to have become a bit old-fashioned. However, I always find a face-to-face with a client a lot more impactful and memorable than an email or a conversation on the phone.
You can gauge their reaction to ideas and suggestions, plus it enables you to get to know them better as a person. Whether that’s over a coffee or a quick lunch or simply while you’re dropping off some artwork, I always find it’s worth investing the time to see someone in person, whenever you get the chance.
2. Understanding their business
Try to get to know your client’s business inside out, so you have a good understanding of when the busy months and the quiet ones are likely to be.
In the quiet months, it’s worthwhile getting a plan together of how you can help them with further aspects of their business. When they’re not rushed off their feet, it’s easier to find the time to put your heads together and work out where else you can help them out and to plan for the next projects due to hit.
3. Remind them how good you are
The quieter months are a good time to put a presentation together of the work you’ve produced for the client over the past year. That could be a brief summary of where the work’s appeared, with suggestions of other specialist skills your agency has that may be of interest.
You might have just been commissioned to design a logo for your client but, once they find out how good you are at creating websites, there’s a much better chance they’ll think of you when that next website brief crops up.
4. Networking within their business
My client’s head office is in London and I make regular visits there for meetings. We recently put a presentation together which I delivered in person. As well as leaving copies with my existing client, I dropped further copies off with other individuals within the business who I thought might find the content interesting.
Now I have work coming in from new contacts within the organisation who were able to just walk down the corridor to ask my client how good we were.
Whenever I’m in their head office, I try to introduce myself to as many new faces as possible and I always take a stack of business cards with me – well, you never know who you’re going to meet. My client’s more than happy for me to do this as it reflects well on them if they can introduce a good design agency into the wider business.
5. Trust comes from regular contact
Get in the habit of speaking to your clients every week, whether you need to or not. I think it’s better to contact them a bit more often than you think you should, rather than a bit less.
The more you talk to your clients, even if it’s not on the mission critical stuff, the stronger your relationship will become and the faster the trust will build. Gaining trust on both sides is crucial from a briefing and quoting point of view. The relationship works so much better when they trust your judgment and you trust theirs.
One of my client’s trusted me enough to admit he’d fractured his ankle dancing around his kitchen to Gangnam Style… I’m mentioning no names!
Author: Nicole Pirog