“All change, even very large and powerful change, begins when a few people start talking with one another about something they care about” – Margaret J. Wheatley
The power of communication cannot be debated. Specifically for Inbound Marketing, it is crucial in many aspects of success. During my time as an account manager for IMPACT Branding and Design I have come to realize that nothing is more valuable than a phone call or personal meeting with a client. Relationship building is key to brainstorming amazing content ideas and understanding your clients’ business.
How can you get results for a client without knowing what they want? How can you produce content for a business without understanding what they do? After those sales calls are completed and the client is onboard they expect RESULTS and the only thing that will get you to that point is proper communication.
Building The Relationship with Passion
You’ve been introduced and the client understands what you do, now it’s time to get started. It’s time for you to understand what they want and what they do. The initial meeting with a client as an account manager is where the relationship begins. Understand their business not by just asking a basic template of questions but allow them to express their passion about their business. Your client loves what they do, that’s why they hired you.
They’re ready to build their business and they want success, find out where their passion comes from and where they foresee their business in the future. You will find that simple conversations will reveal more than a list of questions and answers ever will.
Importance of Client Meetings
In my experience, conversations like these have helped me tremendously with content creation for clients. For example, I had been working on an inbound marketing campaign for a hosted phone system company called Phonetel Inc. I had just began working with this account and prior to my initial meeting with the client my brainstorming ideas were on a lull. Having no experience at all with hosted phone systems, I spent days researching what hosted PBX is and brainstorming content for this client. Upon our first meeting, I was ready with a plan. Little did I know, this hour long meeting would result in an overload of ideas for premium content that would have taken weeks of research and brainstorming to produce.
Ken Tumolo, President of Phonetel Inc., expressed his passion for saving businesses money and increasing their productivity with his phone systems. He talked about new technologies, advancements in his company and businesses he’s been working with recently. During this casual discussion, jotting down key points that Ken discussed really got ideas flowing for new content creation. Yes, it was helpful to ask him specific questions and go over keywords and competitors as well. However, throughout the conversation the main ideas came from when Ken wasn’t answering a question but merely just conversing with us. Simple notes about the different businesses he worked with recently and Phonetel's experience with them led me to content ideas for eBooks, white papers and blog topics for an entire month.
After the initial meeting, scheduling weekly calls became a must. During these weekly calls not only will I let Ken know what we’ve been up to for his account but I want to know what he’s been doing over at Phonetel Inc. A simple, “how’s business?” can lead to information for new blog topics, case studies and offer creations.
KEY IDEAS FOR CLIENT COMMUNICATION AND RELATIONSHIP BUILDING:
1. Understand the client's passion for their business by asking questions about their success, advancements, new technologies and ideas for the future.
2. Invest your time in communication with weekly calls and personal face-to-face meetings.
3. Don't hesitate to ASK the client about their business, they know what they do better than you ever will. Use their expertise.
Improve your Client Communications
Interested in learning more about improving your client communications? Contact IMPACT and learn how we can help!