Every organization thrives through its customers or clients. It Is as Shahenshah Hafeez Khan said; “Clients are like hairs on our head – never counted or mattered till we start losing them. This points to ‘Client Retention’. Successful rainmaking or job chasing begins with successful Client Retention.
Anyone can increase the retention of clients in two ways:
- Providing answers to client questions: this subtly and continually reinforces the notion ‘you can rely on me’.
- Creativity, imagination and most importantly, listening skills: these are traits essential to becoming ‘a successful rainmaker’.
- What is your client(s) urgent or most pressing problem(s)? Determine your role in this from the onset.
- What are his/her present or potential needs?
- What are the benefits to your client and for your firm?
(E.g. fees, PR and Representation that has a ‘Rebound Effect’) The curve should swing towards you.
Strategies for Rainmaking
- Visualization: Help your clients’ picture in months and years as it relates to their job. This works on your self-confidence, theirs and the associated belief system.
- Expectation: Mimic or illustrate some design or fee calculations on the job. Relate the benefits to your client.
- Dependence: Develop the clients’ confidence and dependence on you. Elucidate your credibility.
- Information: Every client wants insight on who they are working with. Thus, make sure you have a functional and updated website set up, this enables them to learn more about your firm and area of expertise.
- Sustenance: This is key. As new clients call you, serve them and equally have your ideal clients as goals .i.e. Big-time clients that provide sustainable projects to the office.
- Networking: Networking is always an option. Recommend to the Principal Partner or the Director that the firm sponsor an event or a luncheon favoured by specific clients. This way, not only would good, quality contacts be made, but these contacts can equally help your establishment be quoted in publications or you serve a reference for good jobs.
Keep in mind, all clients are important. As you build your ‘Client Base’ never forget your smaller existing clients.
Other Client Management tips include:
- Stay in touch: Keep in contact with your clients through phone calls, e-mails, lunch meetings, official letters as well as correspondence through any other means suited to your clients and yourself.
- Appreciate all clients. Smaller clients will help lead you to new clients. Treat them well.
- Plan: The Client Development (CD) planning, frees you from day to day workload in most cases. Plan well.
- Be Organised: An excellent ‘Rainmaker’ Client Developer is extremely organised, enabling some ‘Free Hours’ set aside for CD each week, several times a week. Always incorporate CD into your schedule.
Ensure to follow the tips below:
- Review Workload
- Time management Plan
- Set Priorities
- Discuss with your Principal Partner/ Boss
- Have a good dress sense
- Be a good communicator
- Have confidence and a healthy sense of self-presence
- Understand good timing with clients
- Meet clients at an unstressed period
Once all the above is being done religiously, you will find that the time you devote each week to rainmaking will be rewarded over the years. You will be surprised at how soon young associates will be asking “How can I become a successful rainmaker like you?” or better yet with secret admiration: “I wish I knew how you do it”.