You may have heard about the recent change made by the Labor Department affecting how financial professionals handle the dollars they invest on their customers’ behalf. Those professionals must now act in the best interest of their clients. Really? You mean they weren’t?
Shouldn’t all business professionals act in their clients’ best interests – without it being the law? And, just what does acting in a client’s best interest mean? Here are five simple - but often overlooked - ways you can put your clients first.
- Stay connected
We all like knowing that someone is thinking of us – it makes us feel important and valued. While flowers or a foot massage might be a good way to demonstrate that attention for a loved one, for our clients, it might be a regular phone call to see how the business is running, what has changed and what new challenges have emerged. In addition to regular phone calls or email check-ins, it’s smart to implement a solid marketing plan that keeps your firm top of mind and relevant. That marketing plan could include collateral such as a newsletter, user group meetings or webcasts. Communication like this enables you to better able to anticipate an upcoming need and offer your firm’s assistance – before someone else does.
- Brainstorm solutions
We’re talking collaboration here. You may be the software expert, but your client is the expert on their business. Work through problems and solutions together – making sure you take the time to thoroughly understand both their pain points and their ideal outcome. As a software vendor, you have access to a large number of solution offerings. If you’re asking the right questions, and listening to your client’s pain points carefully, you’re more likely to be able to recommend the right solution at the right time. By becoming a strategic partner to your clients, you’ll raise the value of your firm’s services, and build long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships.
- Speak frankly
You aren’t doing your clients any favors by telling them what they want to hear or making promises you cannot keep. Respect their time, money and technology investment by setting realistic expectations for the solutions you’re proposing and the return on investment they can anticipate. You won’t have all the answers to every question, but if you are honest and candid throughout every interaction, you will gain your clients’ respect. And remember that it’s ok to say no. You can’t resolve every issue they bring to you, and your honesty in that regard will go a long way.
- Become indispensable
You become indispensable to your client not simply by successfully completing each engagement you win. You become indispensable by staying out in front of their business – by continually seeking and recommending ways they can leverage software to meet new business challenges.
- Remain informed and in touch with current trends, solutions and strategies
The wisest people don’t pretend to know everything, the wisest people are the ones that seek input from others – experts in their respective fields of knowledge, and then distill that information into new ideas, directions and innovation. As a software provider, you generate value for your clients when you bring them new ideas and solutions based on your research of their organization and the available business solutions that overlap with their marketplace. The more problem-solutions you can offer your clients, the higher the value they will place on your relationship, and will always look to you first as their expert go-to provider. Keep in mind that your clients are constantly being bombarded with marketing messages from competing providers offering complementary products and services. If you haven’t been the one to introduce your clients to their options, they may respond to those messages – leaving you behind.
Visibility Software has a flexible and friendly partner program designed to support you in introducing our Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train solutions to your clients. You can find more information about that program here.