Just as there is no “I” in “Team,” there is no “Sales” in “Client Experience.” I know we are all hustling and trying to make a living off of our creative ventures (which makes selling to clients seem critical), but businesses that last have clients and customers who are raving fans. And raving fans tell others about their experience with a company, how the company makes them feel or how it solved a problem, not about how the company sells to them.
Client experience happens at every touchpoint in your business. For your website, write content that speaks the client language and answers their questions. If the client wants to meet or speak on the phone, work around their schedule. For social media, show them authenticity and remember it is a two-way engagement platform. If the client is an analytical thinker, speak to them in facts and figures. If the client is a touchy-feely type, speak to their intuition and emotion. If they are direct and decisive, match their pace so they feel you are respecting their time. If there is an agenda when you meet, let it be the client’s agenda. If you want to talk about why you are having the meeting, let it be about why the client is interested and what problem they need solved. If you need clarification, check in with them to see that you are understanding their needs. Surprise them by remembering small details about their family, work, or personal goals. In short, listen and be more interested in the person and less interested in the sale.
This may sound selfless. It is. If you want to sell, sell. But if you want to deliver an experience, be intentional about what the client is experiencing in every interaction with you and your company. The information and insight you will gain from listening and seeking to understand your client will allow you to deliver exactly what they are looking for (if it is within your offering). It may even allow you to exceed their expectations, which is how you create raving fans.
Of course, not every potential client is your ideal client or a client you will be able to satisfy, and you need to have your own boundaries for availability, pricing, deliverables, etc. And sometimes that means saying no to the wrong clients so you can yes to the right ones. But the experience can still be positive for those potential clients who end up not being the right fit. You can refer them to another vendor. You can thank them for their interest. You can wish them well. Because there is no “Regret“ in a polite and well thought out “No Thank You.”