Your clients want to be loved

Newsletter 5 February 2009

corporate photographer corporate video production freelance wrter alan howarth call 07947673167 Alan Howarth corporate portraits

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Let’s talk about clients - your clients, my clients, but more importantly, new clients.

Every business seems to need a constant supply of new clients.

Don’t you wonder sometimes? Where do they go? Why do they leave?

You ‘get it’ if you’ve got it wrong and let them down but sometimes clients leave even though they’re satisfied and everything’s apparently perfect.

Here’s three ideas about why ‘happy’ clients leave:

1. Everyone wants to be loved, especially your clients.

Shut up and listen to them.
Say thank you.
Facebook, link-in and Re Tweet them.
Call your clients back, promptly.
Show a genuine interest in them as people.
If a client’s talking to you – don’t answer your phone – it takes messages.
Give them a warm, genuine smile when you meet.
Congratulate, encourage and support them without request.
Use their name.

2. Everyone craves security, especially your clients.

Be genuine, always be yourself.
Stay cool, calm and collected – no matter what happens.
Be honest, but that doesn’t mean being rude.
Be true to your principles.
Maintain integrity.
Don’t gossip, keep confidences.
Keep commitments – do what you say you’re going to do when you said you’d do it.
If you have a disagreement – get over it and move on.
Punctuality – it’s the courtesy of kings!

3. Everyone wants to develop and grow, especially your clients.

Show respect.
Be ready to apologise, if it’s due.
Don’t be mean or devious.
Accept a genuine apology, and move one.
Offer help and support.
Don’t always be pushing, demanding and selling.
Offer encouragement.
Offer compliments, not complaints.
Always, 100%, do your best, don’t hold back, give all you’ve got - never miss this one!

Well, this is how I try to relate to my clients, I’m honest enough to know I don’t always achieve it, but I keep trying anyway – and clients still disappear, but very, very occasionally.

The other side of the coin is that if you work this way, as well as your clients feeling good about doing business with you, you feel good about doing business with them. Remember to be happy and enjoy your work – it’s a big part of your life.

OK, the Sales Bit: You can cover all your bases and get a bonus for your website. Commission me to photograph your client(s), and while I’m there I’ll record an audio testimonial for your business, you can add the image and the testimonial to your website and  give the portrait to your client as a thank-you, from you and your business, don’t be mean put it in a frame – it’ll be an investment - you give your client a great portrait, and they give you something far more valuable – a piece of themselves. Call me, let’s talk. End of Sales Bit

Of course, the corollary of this is that your clients should treat you well too, don’t take any abuse, if they don’t respect you, take the lead, and lose them.

And come to that how do you treat your suppliers? What goes around . . .

I spoke about this newsletter to my daughter earlier today, she said: ‘Dad, you’re just an old hippy who’s lost his hair.’

She may be right, but man, I’m a seriously good corporate portrait photographer. You owe it to yourself and your clients to call me now.


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Alan Howarth - happy working on the Web & in the Real World

Alan Howarth: Corporate Photographer, Corporate Video Producer and Corporate Writer based near Blackpool, Preston & Lancaster, Lancashire in the North West of the UK, I frequently work in Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham and I spend 50% of my time working in London. within the M25, I travel throughout the UK and often work in mainland Europe, with work published throughout the world. I'll go anywhere - except war zones.

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