How to gain your clients’ respect
You treat your clients with respect, right? But it’s equally important that they respect you too. Here are some tips to help gain and maintain their respect.
Meet us at one o’clock, they say. We’ll have to reschedule, they say. Come prepared with a big proposal, they say. Give us your best price, they say. We’ll get back to you, they say.
Or, once you start working: This isn’t what we wanted. We need it urgently. We’ll pay you tomorrow.
Thankfully only a small portion of clients are like this, but being treated disrespectfully by clients can lead to frustration, exhaustion and resentment.
So, how do you gain and maintain your clients’ respect? By laying down the law. Here are some tips:
- Be clear on your offerings.
It is a great idea to have a few pre-prepared packages readily available for any client to choose from. This also provides clarity for yourself around exactly what you can do.
"Resist the temptation to negotiate your rates… if you want your client to offer you certainty, you need to remain certain within yourself."
- Time limit your service.
If you have a contract between a client, always offer an expiry period. This allows you to both renegotiate at the time of expiry and may release you from a less than happy situation.
- Ask for full or partial payment upfront.
I acknowledge this can be a real challenge for some. In the long run, being a debt collector is not what you want to be. Knowing that the money is in your account before proceeding will ease your mind. This also has another added benefit – the investment is made. Once this happens, both you and the client pull your socks up in order to deliver. You’re aware of the value of your service and you client is aware of the value you need to offer. The exchange becomes more tangible and the commitment becomes more apparent.
- Do not sway from your terms.
Want more articles like this? Check out the processes section.
Resist the temptation to negotiate your rates or services. Again, this can be a challenge for some, but if you want your client to offer you certainty, you need to remain certain within yourself.
- Do not chase.
If a client has not contacted you within the timeframe you’ve specified and you’ve called to request their feedback – move on. Detach. Refocus. Forge ahead elsewhere. Remember, they are not your only hope… and if they are, that’s too much pressure being placed on one prospect. Get the mistakes out of the road and clear the path.
Laying down the law is hard, but your clients will respect you for it, and all parties will be so much happier as a result.
How do you win and maintain your clients’ respect?