Thursday, December 7, 2006

Client relations

Thanksgiving Point

Christian Riggs

Zach Batty, Garrett Batty, Christian Riggs, Zach Hilton, Stephen Freebairn, Jacob Hoehne, Krisi Church, Michael Eager, Cameron Carpenter, Micah Anderson.

Today’s gathering of creative professionals went rather well. I think our discussion after Cameron left was one of the most beneficial yet. I failed to mention to the group that we got a hold of Cameron on Monday, which didn’t leave him much time to prepare.

One of the most interesting topics we discussed was regarding how and when to approach clients of your competition (as suggested by Cameron).

No one wants to tarnish their reputation, especially in such a small and fickle market as this one, by “stealing” away clients from another. There is a level of professionalism that keeps successful companies from creating bad blood.

However, Garrett had a great point. There are times when the value a prospective client is currently receiving is not what they deserve. The competition may be doing a disservice to their brand/image/identity because of shoddy work.

It doesn’t hurt to let prospective clients know what their options are (which is a far cry from dragging someone else’s reputation down in order to convince a customer to switch). Be proud of what makes you unique - of the value - not price - you offer.

We also debated the best way to get feedback from an existing client. Cameron suggested asking how well we did on a scale from 1-10. If they say “7,” ask what do we need to do to get it to a “10.” One idea I tossed out was sending an email survey - low hassle, low commitment way of finding out how they feel.

Zach Batty mentioned a former employer who spent 40K taking his best customers on a cruise. Within a short time, he had make 90K from existing clients. Every dollar invested in client relations is multiplied.

What else did you find valuable?