Each client is different. Understanding their respective priorities helps to retain clients long-term. Here are ten types of clients everyone has and how to create successful relationships with them.
1. The micro manager.
Micro managers like to control each aspect of the project. While they can be annoying, they are one of the easiest clients to keep happy. They are predictable. Therefore, you can control their level of satisfaction by providing all potentially relevant information ahead of time in detail. Pointing out priorities and changes, as well as suggesting what to do about potential issues before they arise, are successful strategies here.
2. The empowering enabler.
Some clients hire companies or freelancers with a highly specialized skill set so they can focus on what they do best. They hand over specific tasks to experts and don't have spend time to manage every task. These clients appreciate routines, such as sending them reports weekly with a summary of relevant events, that save them time.
3. The data freak.
Some people prefer to make decisions based on comparable data as soon as it becomes available. At times, the short term matters more for this kind of client than the long term perspective. To be on the same page regarding what data matters enough to make meaningful decisions set clear goals, hold data analysis meetings and agree on a business strategy.
4. The disorganized client.
Unorganized clients aren’t bad clients at all. Most of the time, they simply have too much on their plate to take care of everything. To make a noticeable positive impact, provide them with reusable templates and schedule meetings well ahead of time. Setting milestones proactively is essential to maintain this type of client.
5. The experienced executive.
Clients who have worked in a variety of industries and have repeatedly achieved outstanding financial results have usually become used to a certain level of seniority. Even if you are more successful than they, stay humble and show that there is always something to learn. To stand out and get referrals, try to exceed expectations by providing ideas that go beyond your official responsibilities.
6. The meeting aficionado.
Meetings are necessary but too many waste a lot of time. To avoid unnecessary meetings either agree on a schedule based on project milestones or clearly state how much time of yours is included in the contract and how extra time is billed. That will set the right expectations for the client but still allow for enough time to work on your actual tasks.
7. The organized client.
Well organized clients frequently have a structure in place that the provider is expected to fit in and follow. Typical examples are reporting templates and periodically scheduled meetings several weeks in advance. Creating a good relationship with them is all about being prepared for meetings, structuring work and communication as well as streamlining tasks.
8. The busy small business owner.
There is always the client who takes a while to get back to you because they a very busy. Be proactive and create short reports including the KPIs they want to monitor. Experiment with meeting length, appointment booking software and auto responders. Don’t cause them extra workload by asking too many questions. Rather create a list of questions to discuss all at once.
9. The motivated manager.
There is a big difference between being focused on achieving a specific goal and being motivated to make progress. Motivated clients may rush into changing things up too early. Set clear time requirements for each of your tasks. Communicate to them how important it is to get things done one step at the time to not negatively influence performance.
10. The frequent tester.
Some clients like to run numerous large-scale tests on a daily basis. They typically have larger budgets and know testing is a cost that may not improve performance. Come up with a plan that includes what to test, when and how. Proactively suggest new test ideas weekly to try to improve the performance of the business.