Everyone hates that awkward phone call. You know, the one where the client terminates your digital marketing relationship or worse yet, the one where you have to call the disgruntled client and inform them you will no longer provide services for them. Neither situation is good for business, but luckily we are here to help, so read further and learn what you can do to build long lasting relationships with your clients.

Honesty In Client Relationships

Tip one: always be honest! It all starts with the initial sales call. Every great relationship is built with honesty and trust. When the clients ask you for projections, number of links, payment terms, and so forth, remain honest and do not make up numbers. If they ask, when will I be ranked #1 and see a return on my investment? The worst thing you can do is, embellish numbers or make up figures which lead the client into believing the impossible is possible. Remember, honesty goes a long way.

Know Your Client

Tip two: know your client! If you do not fully understand your client and their business goals and objectives, you cannot properly market their brand. This should be the first step in any great marketing plan. Take time to learn how your client’s business operates and what their goals are. Help them create buyer personas, target market, and Unique Value Propositions (UVP). Also, you have to understand who the competition is, what they do well, and what they need to improve upon. Chances are, if you do not take the time to understand the client and their competitive industry, you will not have the success you have hoped.

 

Open Client Communication Channels

Tip three: encourage open communication from both parties. As an agency, within reason, you should always be available for clients. Even if you have to use email to answer their questions, try your best to always be there. This is something that should be encouraged from the start. Soon as you see this becoming a problem on either end, try your best to establish productive and open lines of communication.

Keep Good Records Of Client Conversations

Tip four: document everything! Let’s face it, everyone forgets. You have a 15 minute meeting, then you’re off to the next, then someone comes asking questions; by the time you sit down to remember what the first meeting was about, your lack of solid note taking rears its ugly head. Give yourself enough time to rewrite important parts of your notes, record conversations, save emails, and ask for clarification before the meeting is over. It’s your job to document everything. Why is this important? One, you know you are giving your client what they want and need. Two, if the client forgets, you have documents to back up and remind them of previous conversations and requests.

Send Clients Detailed Reports

Tip 5: send good detailed reports! Digital Marketing is a difficult discipline to understand, so make it easy for your clients. It’s all about the numbers and “what have you done for me lately,” right? This is exactly why you should focus on sending your clients good detailed reports, at the end of each month. Don’t just generate a generic report and send it off. Take some time to explain what the numbers mean so they understand why they are important. Explain trends and how you are planning on using this information to help them keep growing. This is an easy way to show your expertise and keep your client from mis-interpreting numbers, causing them to lose faith and trust in you.

There is no exact science, but remember honesty and results are key if you want to avoid that awkward, “you’re fired” phone call. Follow these tips and you will be on your way to long lasting client relationships. Most importantly, never lie, create obtainable goals, and don’t set the clients expectations too high. Remember, it’s okay to turn down a client in the beginning if you think they will be disgruntled or too demanding. Save yourself and team the headache by weeding out the doomed clients first.