The 3Fs- Friendly, fair yet firm.
These have helped me in dealing with clients over the years with my experiences as an administrator, relationship manager, training assistant, project analyst and as a customer assistant representative (yes I know, I have jumped ships way too many times). Be it that they are your friends, relatives or colleagues- they are still your potential clients.
I have attended the Effective Sales and Negotiation Skills course and what I have learned from it, is that everyone is your client. Internal and external clients. In any selling situations, negotiation is an integral part of it. Buyers or clients will usually negotiate on the terms and conditions before signing up to your services or sales contract. Thus, sellers must have the ability to lead masterful sales conversations as well as to be able to create a value proposition for better negotiation power from the start to the end of a sales call or meeting. Otherwise, the sales conversation betweens sellers and buyers will be disengaged and it will not produce a positive result-oriented outcome.
What I learned and experienced throughout the years is that you have to understand what your client needs are, listen to them and really take note what they want and their expectations. Listening is one of the most important skills we possess. It is one thing to hear what someone is saying, it is another to truly listen. good listening skills are essential because they help you build your client’s trust and confidence. Listening includes reading between the lines, seeing the nuances, emphathizing,determining the speaker’s intent and the actual meaning of what is said.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to give out suggestions or feedbacks to them. Develop strategic alliance to better meet client’s needs. Do it in a manner that is friendly, gentle and fair to them. At the end of it, you are there to meet client’s needs completely.
You also have to be firm because you are the seller, the provider. Some clients have brilliant ideas but they never seem to be grounded with their decisions. This is where you come in and be firm with it. In this context, you have to be the one to tell them “okay you know what? Let’s do this. We are sticking to idea 1 but if that doesn’t fall through, then we can visit idea 2 and so forth” Create a timeline and deadline for it.
You also have to be creative and innovative in helping your client to get what they want. Don’t just stick it to the manuals. Go the extra mile! But of course, you need to get their consent first before you sprinkle your creativity on their work! Again, develop strategic alliance to better meet client’s needs.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your clients about their ideas and work because I feel this is imperative to give them the product of your services. Confidential is the key. Your client trusts you or else they wouldn’t hire you! Not only do they recognized your awesome set of skills but they trust you with their ideas and needs.
Together, you and your client will work through in solving their ideas and make it happen. Simply said, you are helping them turning their dreams and ideas into reality. and you will have one happy client!