Client Development & Client Engagement – What does it mean?

Client development is about taking clients on a journey:

  • to build trust and the motivation to buy
  • to turn strangers into friends
  • to develop your understanding of their business
  • to develop their understanding of your business

Client engagement requires continuous investment in the relationship(s):

  • clients notice when they are picked up and put down to fit around your other commitments
  • hidden and personal agendas rarely emerge on day one
  • be realistic about objectives – it’s a long term game

Client engagement means giving clients what they want:

  • Client X rarely wants a copy of what you have previously given to Client Y so don’t treat them as if they do
  • ask questions to understand their needs and wants
  • avoid making assumptions to fill in gaps, this is dangerous and unnecessary
  • test ideas and proposals before committing to them

Client development is not about having all the answers:

  • asking questions is allowed – in fact it shows you’re interested
  • listen to what they say and react to it – it shows you are listening and not waiting for your turn to speak
  • don’t jump in – pouncing too early is dangerous and reduces our chances of success

We can all engage with clients:

  • today’s junior people are tomorrow’s influencers and next week’s decision makers
  • friends in client organisations can be good sources of information
  • good friends in clients can be allies

When viewing client organisations, we should consider all of the following:

  • ways to develop the relationships
  • ways to give them something of added value
  • opportunities for engagement and revenue

There is simply no substitute for talking to people:

  • they might (and sometimes do) tell you things you would never know otherwise
  • what people really want is not always the same as what they commit to writing
  • it demonstrates interest and empathy

Like us, clients like excellent service –
so make sure you delight them!

Download your copy of ‘What does it mean’  here