R&D The Heck Out of Your Brand Part 2
Check out part one of this blog before forging ahead in this one, there are a few key elements discussed that connect with this one. In this quick session, we'll be talking more about building your relationship with the client in order to make for a positive and noteworthy experience for everyone.
Get Invested and Get Motivated
Clients should want to work along with you. One thing I've learned is that most everyone loves getting a little motivation. And motivation comes in many forms. A little "thank you" directly from the CEO, Solving a problem in record time. Or maybe it’s someone just listening to you and validating that you aren't alone and that they truly care and understand what’s going on with you. All of these are great motivators, and we should take into account how important this is to our customers as well. Not only do they want to be successful, but they also want to be part of the success. And sometimes, they don't even know it. Reaching out to clients in an email or phone call and taking the extra time to talk to them about where they come from, why they are who they are, and where they would personally like to go; are important factors in building a relationship. There is no feeling like winning client trust with the hard core facts, honest truth, and proving to them that you are not only on their side, but that you are there to develop relationships past just “doing business.” Building a solid relationship from the beginning of the project and maintaining it throughout certainly makes decisions and communication a little easier during the process of exploration and development.
Record and Take Notes
Personally, I like to ask if I can record meetings and some conversations that I have with clients using my mobile device (there are several apps in the app stores that do this well). This is not meant to be elaborate, it’s just an opportunity to let them know that I care enough about the conversation to hold on to it, and that their voice is important in helping to craft the brand message. At the end of the day, you can send the most important parts of that conversation in a follow-up email to key decision makers for inspiration or insight into the project status. You can also use it to get everyone on the same page and get their imaginations running during other meetings. Taking an audio recording or hand written notes during client meetings displays that you are professional through and through, and that your actions are in their best interests of everyone.
Be Honest & Open
When you are honest and open, others feel that they can be too, this breaks down walls and opens up the lines of communication. You may be surprised at how many awesome stories and how much great information lie within the company’s employees, and it’s just waiting to be shared.
Most of this is about action ability, doing the little things along the way that make a big difference in creating a healthy business and sometimes even a personal relationship with your clients. Also consider the other side of the picture. If you see that the customer just wants to pay someone to do the project; and is not invested in their projects at all, you might reconsider if it's a project worth taking on. Branding is as much about the developer/client relationship and those experiences as it is about the customers' interactions and view of the brand.
Taking the time to implement these steps will make the branding process much easier, and a more fun, and enjoyable experience for everyone.