Successful relationships require a back-and-forth flow of communication between parties, whether it’s a couple raising kids, two guys moving a sofa, or kids working on a science project together. Everyone has to be on the same page about objectives, share awareness of potential obstacles and opportunities, and reach an agreement regarding any course of action. None of that is possible without dialogue.
Likewise, business relationships that feature an ongoing exchange of ideas and information also tend to be the strongest. Open dialogue is an effective way to ensure that your connection with agents and advisors remains positive. You (and they) will find that the more successful you are in communicating on a regular basis, the greater the benefit for everyone’s business.
Here are a few tips to help you develop and maintain open lines of dialogue with clients:
- Be knowledgeable. Understand your client’s goals, concerns, and opportunities, and be prepared to offer honest, actionable solutions when presented a chance to do so. This starts with having a strong grasp of the products and companies you’re promoting and extends to knowing about competing products, market trends, and other relevant factors.
- Be welcoming. Make sure your clients feel free to contact you anytime they have a question or concern if they need some advice or when they have information to share. Maintain a friendly tone in your written communications and put a smile in your voice when speaking to your clients directly.
- Be attentive. You can keep the communications ball rolling by always following up on business transactions or other issues to see how things transpired. Communicate in ways that fit their schedule (and yours!), and be brief and unobtrusive with these casual communications. Remember, the most important thing is that clients know you have an interest in their wellbeing. Eventually, they’ll feel very at ease communicating back to you.
- Be responsive. When you hear from clients, make them a priority. You may not be able to drop what you’re doing at that very moment, but at least learn what prompted them to contact you. Then quickly promise to get back to them within a set amount of time. When you are able to give them your full attention, a phone call is probably preferable as it demonstrates a more personalized interest and will allow for actual conversation.
- Be a listener. Good conversationalists get others to talk about themselves and find ways to relate to what they’re hearing. If you center on your client’s interests, it will be easier to hold their attention and maintain engagement over extended periods. When appropriate, provide opportunities for them to tell you about any recent happenings on their business fronts or if they foresee interesting developments in the near future. You could receive some good business intelligence, and your clients will appreciate the opportunity to share their perspectives.
As you may have guessed, ongoing dialogues require some nurturing to get started, but becoming your client’s go-to resource and a trusted consultant will be well worth the effort. And every time you successfully establish a dialogue with agents or advisors, you strengthen the foundation of your clients’ growing businesses.
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