It’s certainly important to know your client personally; it even helps to know the names of the wife, kids, and dog. More importantly, is learning about your client’s business and industry. Deeper knowledge about the business side of things will help you separate yourself from the competitors and put you on the trusted advisor side of the equation. Clients want advisors with a vested interest in their overall objectives.
Learning about your client’s business challenges gives you something to talk about when you call or meet. It’s the key that can open the door to a new budget or save a budget from going south. Your clients will know that you understand where they’re coming from, good or bad. You’ll be better equipped to handle problems because you know their industry and the various competitive points of pressure. You’ll even be able to forecast and predict when the belt tightening may come, or even better, when it loosens up a couple of notches. You’ll learn that the best time to recommend new initiatives is when the last campaign is boosting numbers. Your inside knowledge can help identify opportunities that clients may not realize because they’re too deep in the day-to-day execution. Learn to give them a full perspective of their business landscape.
Read up and learn about your client’s industry by subscribing to trade journals and seek to understand the market trends and hot issues of the week or month. Consider picking 1 or 2 industries to focus on in 2010 and become the “go to” person for advice. Study up on industry terminology and jargon to prove a better understanding of the client’s business. At RATES Advertising, we strive to dig deep into our client's industry and make them aware of changes good and challenging.
Just remember, clients have two big problems: who to trust and how to make a good decision. Help your client in these areas by becoming a student of their business and industry. When you become that trusted advisor they will protect you and that’s where value lives. Remember that nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
We strive to provide quality service while maintaining productive growth for our clients.