Are more and more of your clients hesitant about starting a business right now? With inflation concerns and economic uncertainty, many aspiring business owners may be on the fence. If you’re ready to improve client communication — and help clients feel more confident about starting a business — keep reading.
We all know the economy ebbs and flows. But communication with clients is a constant. No matter what, it’s crucial to have effective communication strategies in your tool belt to help you connect more with your clients. In this article, we’ll arm you with five essential, effective communication methods you can implement today so you can become an expert client communicator!
Top 5 Effective Ways to Boost Client Communication
After a two-year-long global pandemic uprooting and changing their lives, clients and customers are looking for purpose. We’re all seeking more meaning and happiness in our personal or professional lives, especially now.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve all navigated The Great Resignation, a looming recession, rising costs, and other economic and political challenges. People, now more than ever, want to live a more purposeful, fulfilling life. For example, maybe your client dreams of working for themselves — and dedicating all their time to their craft. But fear and economic uncertainty hold them back.
So, what can you do to help your clients find their purpose in their new business — and connect with you in meaningful ways? How can you become a master client communicator? Let’s review some of the top effective client communication skills!
1. Keep it (Really) Real
How often do you respond to people who act “fake”? Chances are, you try to avoid responding or interacting with these people as much as possible. We all appreciate authenticity in our connections — in all areas of our lives, including professional ones. Clients want to partner with someone who keeps it honest, especially when it comes to business. Phoniness, in summary, deters clients (and people in general).
One of the main reasons authenticity matters is that authenticity equals trust. And we need trust in our relationships — whether business or personal. But what does being “authentic” look like in your daily current practice?
For one, establish more open communication between you and your client. Tell your customers the ‘why’ behind your services and how you can support them in achieving their broad goals. You’ll want to be honest and up-front about your products and services, including explaining the pros and cons. And don’t glaze over potential conflicts. Be honest and fair — and the rest will follow!
2. Align to Their Needs and Purpose (Not Yours)
How you frame your services matters. If you’re helping your clients with small business financing, for example, first discuss what they’ve tried in the past, their concerns with financing methods, their current financial situation, and more.
By listening to their needs, you can direct your clients to the right products or services that best suit them. You don’t want to “sell” your customer a product or service that doesn’t benefit them! It’s essential to build trust and help lead clients to solutions based on their unique journeys and needs.
You’ll also want to align with your client’s purpose by learning and understanding their goals, beliefs, and purpose. In order to meet your client’s needs, you need to know them. And you need to know your client’s vision to make it a reality. When you align with your clients, they trust you to help them make the best decisions — and forge the right path to their business dream.
What makes a successful small business owner — and does your client have what it takes to run a successful business? Check out our Top 7 Characteristics of Successful Business Owners.
3. Focus on Building the Relationship
Take the time to get to know your clients in both a professional and personal manner. Here are a few ideas of questions to ask if you’re unsure where to start!
- What are your aspirations and passions?
- What does your family life look like?
- Do you have any hobbies or interests?
- What are your small business goals?
- What are your previous successes or accomplishments?
- What are your pain points in achieving your small business goals?
- Do you have a business financing plan?
- Why do you want to start a small business?
- What does your ideal schedule and lifestyle look like?
Lean into Listening
You’ll want to make sure you’re actively listening while your clients answer these questions. Research-based evidence has demonstrated the impact and power of effective listening. Effective active listening within an organizational setting has proven to encourage stronger relationships between colleagues, develop greater trust, strengthen team collaborations, enhance decision-making skills and creativity — and boost overall productivity.
Effective listening can be difficult, but it’s worth the investment. In the age of electronic communication like email and text, you may also want to entertain in-person meetings over coffee or have more frequent video call check-ins. Think about nonverbal communication, such as making eye contact or facial expressions, asking follow-up questions, and utilizing your emotional intelligence.
Connect through two-way conversations and ask for customer feedback on how well your products or services met their needs. And remember always to find ways to celebrate and express appreciation to your customers! For example, consider hosting regular giveaway raffles and community fundraising events, or send in some classic holiday treats. All of this shows your client that you care for them, which builds trust and customer loyalty.
Ready to be a master business and client communicator? See our Top 5 Effective Business Communication Skills Every Business Owner Should Know.
4. Provide Exceptional Service
Customer relationships thrive on service to clients. A big part of your job is continually thinking about how you can help your clients overcome or address their challenges. You’ll want to rely on problem-solving and empathy to provide your clients with reliable, exceptional service.
Indeed.com defines good customer service as “the quality and timely assistance provided by a business and its employees to the people who use or buy its products and services.“
But why not go above and beyond that? Try to add friendliness, warmth, compassion, care, and gratitude to all your conversations with clients. When you make clients feel more comfortable, they’re more likely to work with you when they’re ready to take the next step!
5. Remember: Timing is Key
Is your client in the business ideation phase, still learning about financing options and juggling business ideas? Or does your client have a solid business plan but is waiting to find the perfect business location? No matter your client’s current stage in their business journey, you’ll want to consider your client’s unique timeline.
For example, if your client is still in the business ideation phase, try to have more educational and informational conversations that will lead them to make confident, informed decisions. If they need help finding financing methods, review the various business financing methods with them and discuss which may be the best fit for their financial situation.
If your client is worried about whether their business vision will survive a looming recession, talk over different recession-proof industries or recession-proof business strategies with them. You’ll want to help prepare your clients for the next stage in their business journey — and help them know when it’s time to move on.
Asking your clients different questions, using examples or stories, and knowing when it’s time to move on are all critical contributing factors to the timing of your communication.
Want to inspire your clients with recent and REAL small business success stories? Take a look at our Client Success Stories, where our clients share their business journey, challenges they’ve faced recently as business owners, and more!
Stronger Connections and Solutions with Guidant
If you follow these five methods and tips, your clients will feel more connected, confident, and cared for — and may be more interested in taking the next step, too. Guidant Financial and our team of financial experts are always readily available to help your clients find the best financing solutions to meet their individual needs and goals.
Help your clients pre-qualify for business financing today, or call us at 425-289-3200 to book a FREE consultation!