Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

6 Unique Ways to Impress Your Clients

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Aug 8, 2017 4:23 AM

Any business person who recognizes the myriad opportunities for impressing and indulging his or her clients is one who is more likely to succeed than most. Never before have there been more convenient, inexpensive and memorable ways to treat clients to all they deserve.

The economy is now far more about attention than it is about money. The Internet has given way to a generation unable to concentrate for long, so anything a business can do to make itself more recognizable and memorable for clients should be high on the priority list. More important than literally anything else for entrepreneurs is to make absolutely sure they make an emotional connection with their customers. Everything good about a business relationship follows from that basic foundation.

Here are some ways to make that connection and help improve your business relationships.

Handwritten Letters

When quality people want to make themselves heard, they write handwritten letters. There is nothing in government that carries more clout than a short handwritten note from a chief executive, whether they be presidents, prime ministers or governors.

The reason this strategy works so well is because it demonstrates a level of commitment most people are simply no longer capable of. Words on paper have driven human civilization for millennia, and a handwritten letter is both a communication technique and a symbol of care taken in putting both thought and time into what you want to say. With the right client, this kind of gesture can have tremendous impact. Sent at regular intervals, it can cement a lucrative business relationship in ways nothing else can.

The handwritten letter is also classy, especially if it is sent on premium stationery. As most people in large organizations know, when the boss gets out the expensive paper, it usually means something special. Making your clients feel special should be any businessperson's goal.

Seasonal Gifts

This is another example of a thoughtful approach. It is most effective when it is sent in the spirit of the season, and not as a prelude to some kind of business overture. Edible items are the most popular, followed by wine, specialty gifts like cufflinks or modest jewelry and tickets to sporting events or shows. You should set a spending limit and stick to it, as it can often seem the more you spend the more business you expect in return. Lower budgets are best, as they won't put an uncomfortable expectation level on your client.

Efficient Use of Time

If you invite your clients to a meeting, whether you are selling a service or you are giving them an update on your progress with a current project, your ability to swiftly guide the meeting to a successful conclusion is vital to making your clients remember you. Always be aware of the power dynamics. You should be working towards concluding the meeting early. You should be guiding the agenda. This will give your clients confidence you are in charge of your business.

Manage Transportation

If your meetings take you on the road, learn the ins and outs of managing transportation, travel venues and entertainment. If you can choreograph a meeting at a hotel, for example, and provide your clients with a limousine service, a meal and an efficient, high-impact presentation, you will be the first business that client remembers the next time they are looking for whatever services you provide.

Managing accommodations dovetails with the ability to manage a meeting well. Both demonstrate the ability to take charge and inspire confidence.

The Extra Mile

Any business person involved in manufacturing or delivering a product or service to a client knows never to over-promise. It is always better to under-promise and make it look like you are going the extra mile.

In the long-run this strategy will train your team to look for ways to exceed customer expectations. This often happens naturally and it is one of the best things that can happen to a company.

Teach

Clients rarely prefer the black-box approach to developing the product or service you are selling. This gives you a great opportunity to explain what you do and how you do it. Like all the other suggestions in this list, the ability to teach your craft to someone who might not be all that familiar with it demonstrates leadership and inspires confidence in your abilities.

As with all things, overt attempts to impress a client should be moderate and spread out over time. Too much enthusiasm can cause people to back off, while apparent disinterest can cause them to lose interest. But the right gesture at the right time can be very productive for both.

back to top

Give Now

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »


Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »