Walking in my Shoes (Depeche Mode, 1992)

I would tell you about the things,

They put me through,

The pain I’ve been subjected to,

But the Lord himself would blush,

The countless feats laid at my feet,

Forbidden fruits for me to eat,

But I think your pulse will start to rush…

From this article I want you to understand your current and potential clients from THEIR point of view.

In my time, I have heard some horror stories from business owners who we have worked with and are still working with, about the web designers/agencies they have been working with; for example a website not going live for two and a half years, not being able to reach the web designer to make changes to then find out they have gone out of business, general lack of communication with regards to being too technical or just not replying at all!

Here are a few questions that will help you understand how you can work with your current clients better and how to work with potential clients in the future:

Q1: What is it they need from you?

It will be your product/service and one or two other things like: commitment, proactiveness, creativity, communication!

These additional wants are what the previous supplier didn’t give this customer, so how can you make sure that they don’t have the same experiences with you which could make them want to leave and move on again?

Q2: How do you need to communicate with them?

Do you need to use email more or pick up the telephone? The answer is: it depends on the client.

Each client likes to be communicated with in a particular way. For example; one of our clients just likes a text message so he can get in touch in his own time. Another client likes to have a teleconference every 2 weeks to see where we are up to with things.

Make sure you communicate with your clients in the way they prefer you to.

Q3: What are their challenges and fears when it comes to your industry?

Obviously this will depend on the product or service they have purchased from you. Maybe they don’t have much time on their hands, which is why you are getting involved or they are unsure what to do and this is why they need your expertise.

Q4: Are your clients having the same problem with previous suppliers?

Without mentioning names, ask why they are thinking about leaving or why they have left their current supplier. This will give you an insight into what not to do which will build and grow your relationship with that client.

Q5: Have you asked the question of why they have come to you?

The answer to this question can help you with your Purple Cow!

Now knowing what they had in the past that didn’t make them happy, you can work with them in the future to make their experience of working with you and your product/service life changing.

Questions leads to answers, answers lead to customer rapport and customer rapport leads to profit!  – Jay Conrad-Levison of Guerrilla Marketing

When you understand the issues they have faced, you can then help them move forward by outlining the benefits of working with you.