Monday, July 25, 2011

Become a Master of the Client “Touch"

Reaching out to your clients is not an optional activity for a project manager. You have to stay in contact, even after you have finished a project.

A client touch is any contact made with the client in an effort to strengthen the relationship. Try to keep these contacts quick and meaningful. A quick “touch” should let the client know that you are thinking about them and the things that might be important to them.

The idea is simply to reach out in a meaningful way, making a quick contact with the goal of making the client feel comfortable working with you. Clients are going to work with those they feel comfortable working with.

Don’t try to become best friends with all of your clients. That’s simply not realistic. And, clients seldom have that amount of time to invest either. So, begin a consistent pattern of reaching out to your clients in a meaningful way. Though a few of the suggestions below might in reality take a few more than two minutes, I believe you will agree they are all geared towards adding maximum value in a minimum amount of time.

Try a few of these meaningful “client touches”:

•Hand-deliver a proposal
•Send a tool or checklist that makes their job easier
•Invite the client to your strategic project kick-off meeting
•Send out meeting agendas, meeting summaries, and action item tracking lists
•Submit for awards for project performance on behalf of your client
•Send industry specific articles to your clients
•Send project progress and project completion photos to the client
•Build a “Fast-Start” Plan for the project and send to the client
•Set up a routine weekly “Check-in” call or “Status” call with the client

By incorporating a consistent pattern of reaching out to your client in a meaningful way, you will quickly gain the reputation of being a “value adder”!

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