I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows. – Drew Barrymore
Building consistency with colleagues and clients is essential in maintaining strong business relationships. Consistency helps establish trust, reliability + credibility, which are crucial for collaborations and client retention + satisfaction. What does it mean to be consistent in your relationships?
- Set clear expectations: Establish clear expectations with colleagues + clients from the beginning. Clearly communicate what collaborations, services or products you provide, what working with you entails as well as your commitments + responsibilities. Be transparent + realistic about what you provide, and ensure that your colleagues + clients have a clear understanding of what to expect.
- PRO-TIP: include these expectations in your website, appointment reminders and in your first session with a new client. Or when collaborating with a colleague, layout exactly what you can offer + what you’d expect from a partner in terms of workload/ division of labor, etc.
- Communicate proactively: Consistent communication is key in client + colleague relationships. Be proactive in keeping your clients + collaborators informed about updates + any changes that may affect them. Respond to their inquiries, emails and requests in a timely manner, and be consistent in your communication style + frequency. Regularly update your clients on their progress and collaborators on the status of your shared projects to maintain transparency + trust.
- PRO-TIP: even if your client list is small, commit to sending at least one newsletter per month plus one ongoing post per week, either a blog or on social media (rather than over-committing and not following through). With colleagues, set up ongoing short meetings to check in until you’ve completed your collaboration.
- Be reliable and dependable: Consistently deliver on your promises + commitments to your clients + collaborative partners. If you say you will do something, make sure to follow through + meet deadlines. Be dependable + reliable in your actions, and avoid over-promising + under-delivering. Being consistent in meeting your clients’ expectations builds trust + confidence in your business relationship.
- PRO-TIP: never leave a client waiting on you for an appointment. Show up early (whether in-person or virtual) with everything you need for the session ready to go. Be reliable in your collaborations and see them through, even if you determine it’s a one + done partnership. And should you happen to drop the ball, take responsibility, apologize + communicate what you’ll do to avoid mis-steps going forward.
- Be attentive and responsive: Be attentive to your clients’ + colleagues needs + concerns, and respond to them in a timely + appropriate manner. Listen actively to their feedback + concerns, and address them promptly + professionally. Show that you value their input + insights in their work with you.
- PRO-TIP: follow-up on your sessions. Check in 1-2 days after the appointment for feedback + ongoing care recommendations. Do the same with your colleague relationships. Nurture each of these as the crux of your business.
- Be proactive and innovative: Consistently look for ways to improve + add value to your clients’ (+ even your colleagues’) experience. Be proactive in identifying opportunities for innovation, and consistently strive to exceed their expectations. Continuously seek feedback from your community and use it to enhance your products, services, or processes to meet their evolving needs.
- PRO-TIP: with services like mailchimp, eventbrite, teachable, canva, survey monkey + google reviews, it has never been easier to be a thought leader in your industry and create new opportunities for clients to engage in your business through collaborations, surveys, follow-up self-care, workshops, courses + social media. AND continuing education can bolster + inspire new offers, so use those requirements to study something that genuinely interests you.
- Maintain professionalism: Consistently maintain a professional demeanor in all interactions with your clients + colleagues. Be respectful, courteous + ethical in your conduct, both in person + in written communications. Avoid unprofessional behavior, such as unprofessional language + tardiness, as it can erode the consistency + trust in your relationship with clients + potential business partnerships.
- PRO-TIP: no matter how warm, funny + friendly you are, demonstrating + maintaining professional boundaries with your clients + colleagues leaves a lasting impression + contributes significantly to client referrals. Your aim should be for others to say that “you’re a dream to work with.”
Building consistency with clients + colleagues involves setting clear expectations, proactive communication, reliability, providing consistent quality, attentiveness, proactivity and professionalism. By being consistent in these areas, you can establish + maintain strong, long-term relationships with your clients + collaborators, which leads to client loyalty + business success.
- LAST PRO-TIP: What you do outside the session or the workshop leaves as strong an impression as what you do within a session, so consider the full scope of your interactions, then strategize + automate as much as you can from start to finish. This isn’t about adding more work to your plate, but about refining your business to create the ultimate (reliable) experience for anyone who engages with your business!