At Point It, we pride ourselves on our client management skills. We feel like our client managers are some of the best in the industry because we always do what it takes to satisfy our clients needs- no matter the size of their account. We believe that our clients are the ones who support our business, and it’s our relationships with them that make both of our businesses successful.
1. “You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there” – Edwin Louis Cole
I was talking with a friend of mine who works at another agency one night at dinner. He was telling me about an unhappy client, the type that we have all dealt with at some point in our careers, a client who is “passionate”, “boisterous”, “animated”, of course these are all euphemisms. This client wanted to exhaustively talk about the problem and how it had affected him. Which is perfectly okay – you listen, you understand, and you empathize. Where my friend went wrong was he got enveloped in the problem, in the emotion, in the argument which only made things worse – he stayed in the water after falling in it.
When a client has an issue, you intently and fully listen, but your job is to find the solution to fix the problem. You can’t struggle or resist – doing that will only lead to drowning quicker. You must stay calm, assess, and take the course of action that will keep you afloat.
All of the CM’s at Point It took a 3-day improv training class that taught us effective ways to communicate. Improv actors practice moving a scene forward by using “Yes, and” statements. These “Yes, and” statements are much more tactical and agreeable than “No” or “Yes, but”. “Yes, and” is saying, I understand you and this is what is going to happen next. It is a positive way of moving a conversation forward and towards a solution. When a client has an issue start by saying “yes”, as in I understand you, then follow up with “and”, then the solution.
2. “Why do the Yankees always win? The other team can’t stop looking at their pinstripes.” – Christopher Walken as Frank Abignale Sr. in Catch Me If You Can
Presentation goes along way. How you present your information, can boost the sentiment of positive reporting or hedge the negativity of only “okay” information. Graphs, graphics, and imagery can change the way your client views information and can help them to easily visualize figures and statistics.
Your job as a client manager is to get information to your client in the most effective way. From reporting to simple emails – presentation is key. In emails, for example, we use headlines, bold font, bullet points, and numbering to make sure that the most important information is the easiest to find.
I’ve received many emails from clients who say that they appreciate the way we present our data and how we go that extra step to make sure that what we send them is clear, concise, and attractive. At Point It, one of our goals is to always to improve and update or presentation decks and reports to make them more inciting and will visually speak to our clients.
3. “I always think of (a client’s business) as if it were my own” – Sam McRoberts
This quote is from our own Director of SEO, Sam McRoberts. He firmly believes that when we analyze a client’s needs, we look at it from their perspective – what would we do if their company were our own?
By attacking issues with this frame of mind, we ensure that we are always completely honest and working in our client’s favor, not merely our own. Yes, at times, this means telling them to divert their budgets away from our services or to cut spend from SEO and to funnel it into PPC and vice-versa, but it has always helped us to gain the trust of our clients which has led to either longer engagements or referrals.
4. “The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” – John Russell, President, Harley Davidson
Talk with your clients, understand them, get to know them on a personal level. Its not enough to just know what their sales funnel looks like or what their target CPA is – you have to know who your clients are as people. Like with any relationship, the more you understand about them, the more you know what to expect from them, what they expect from you, what excites them, what encourages them, what motivates them, the more you connect with them and form a closer relationship.
The engagement is key – the small talk, the check-in, the face to face meetings. You are always learning about your client and their personality. You are always building rapport and strengthening the relationship. You are always trying to figure out what makes them tick because ultimately, that will help you to know how they want to be served.
5. Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile. – Gary Ryan Blair
The great thing about the “extra mile” is that it is always being moved forward. Where one person takes the “extra mile”, you push it to the next! What have you been currently for your clients? Is there anything more you can add to that report or to that set optimizations? Is there something you know they would appreciate or something cool that you can show them? How can you make them a little bit happier than the day before?
This is the difference between being an adequate client manager and a successful one. It’s always striving to be better than the day before. It’s always trying to impress your client by showing them what you are capable of. It’s raising the bar so high that none of your competitors can duplicate the things that you do and the service that you give.
These quotes all embody what great client manager. A great client manager is someone with solutions to problems, one that is thinking about presentation, someone who is really caring about their client’s business, a person who is always learning about their most important relationships, and someone who is striving to be better for their clients everyday. You can’t fail if these are your goals and you can’t fail if you are always practicing these truths – you only run the risk of becoming more refined and closer to the real people supporting your business.