Author: Andrew Gangloff
Effectively communicating with clients is a major key to getting projects done on time and in accordance with their budget. We believe in a completely honest and transparent forms of communication. Here are some tangible things you can do to help increase the communication between your clients, vendors and contractors.
1. Market Research
You have to have a good understanding and know about the client’s market. We’ve all been in situations where we don’t know everything about a topic so you have to just passively listen. This does not help the client or your business. Learn the product or service, learn when the economy is on the rise, learn how the local/international markets increase due to commodity demand, learn what the client needs. Just keep researching and developing your knowledge of the client and their market.
2. Find The Right Clients
In the beginning, smaller companies usually accept all inquiries that come in; however, as the company grows, it becomes much more important to work with clients who share the same values and principles in running their business. Although it may not seem like a critical factor, you must be able to see eye to eye with your clients. It’s difficult to communicate with your clients if they are playing a different ball game.
3. Mold the Product
After conducting an in-depth market analysis you’ll understand the nuances of their market. The client may come in looking for one product but your research may say otherwise. Explain why you think an alternative product may be more suitable. Remember, you are the expert. It’s your job to make the proper adjustments to ensure the product meets and exceeds the needs of the client.
4. Establish The Price
After you gather all of the information for the product (project in this case) you will bring your findings to the client, the client will almost always question the numbers. As they should as they want to understand the value they are getting when they pay. After all of the details are worked out it is your job to come up with an agreeable payment schedule. This schedule must reflect milestones (targets) that need to be achieved in order to have payments released.
5. The Fine Details
The project schedule should be linked to the payment schedule so that as progress is made it releases the payments to keep the project on the agreed upon schedule. Nowadays most projects are finalized by a CCDC, this is the legal contract being used by most contractors and clients. It’s crucial that you are very clear in your communication regarding your plan, it’s the basic foundation for the success of the project and future relationship with the client.
Utilizing these tips when communicating with your clients will help create and seamless and effective workflow!