Tips For Maintaining Client Relationships

Written by Erich Heintz

You may reprint or publish this article free of charge as long asrepparttar bylines are included.

Original URL (The Web version ofrepparttar 142524 article) --------------------------------------------- ngClientRelationships.htm

Title ----- Tips For Maintaining Client Relationships Customer Relations Is Not Just A "Sales" Function ------------------------------------------------------ Consulting is a service business and engineers, administrators and technicians arerepparttar 142525 heart of it. Sadly, too many of us see customer relations as a “sales” function. Whilerepparttar 142526 sales department can be very effective at generating leads and performing a lot ofrepparttar 142527 up-front work that initiates a customer relationship, long term success depends highly onrepparttar 142528 implementers themselves.

Repeat Technology Services Business -------------------------- Much ofrepparttar 142529 repeat business that I get from clients comes not from “sales” beating them down with phone calls and emails, but by clients approaching me directly to satisfy newfound needs.

I’m proud to say that I have clients who refuse to deal with our sales department for any function other than signing contracts. These customers are no longer looking to be “sold” solutions; they come to me specifically to “buy” them.

If you are content with perpetual strings of one-off projects you can stop reading here. My focus is maintaining long standing relationships that produce reliable revenue streams.

Don’t Be A Drone ----------------------------------- Too many consultants show up, drop in a solution and leave, making no effort to establish a relationship with their client. Get to knowrepparttar 142530 client and their business. Showing an interest inrepparttar 142531 client’s work can not only help you develop a rapport, you may learn something as well. Being able to show up at a site, ask aboutrepparttar 142532 client’s family AND being able to address their kids by name will help establish you as more than justrepparttar 142533 “computer guy”. The “computer guy” is generally about as memorable asrepparttar 142534 “phone guy” orrepparttar 142535 “cable guy”. Be Flexible ---------------------------------------------- Very few consultants are so good that they can get away with a “my way orrepparttar 142536 highway” attitude. There are a few out there and if you think you are one of them you probably stopped reading by now.

As a solution provider, your first effort should bring to your customerrepparttar 142537 best fix for their problem. Whether that fix is hardware, software, policy or procedure, there are almost always client considerations you weren’t made aware of during design. Budget usually lands atrepparttar 142538 top of that list.

Presentation Paranoia

Written by Graham Yemm

“The human brain starts workingrepparttar moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.” (Sir George Jessel)

Have you had this feeling before? Rest assured you are not alone. You might be one ofrepparttar 142523 many who would rate your fear of public speaking alongside or ahead of death! Your fear may translate itself to “FEAR”Forget Everything And Run!!

Havingrepparttar 142524 ability to present yourself and your message to an audience, whether internal or external, is a necessary skill for a good manager and leader. By following some simple steps you can improve your skills in this area, reduce your fear and build your confidence. As you have more success in making presentations you may well find yourself actually looking forward to doing more of them. Clients, colleagues and other staff will be more responsive and supportive. You will realiserepparttar 142525 principles apply to groups of 2 – 200 and above, and whether sitting across a desk or in a conference hall.

Why do you want to improve your skills in this area? It might be to reducerepparttar 142526 feelings ofrepparttar 142527 nerves – or even panic. Maybe to reducerepparttar 142528 risk of making yourself look a fool in front ofrepparttar 142529 audience? Or you may want to be able to present yourself and your message with more confidence and conviction to win people over. Perhaps you want to be able to look forward to making presentations? Whatever your reasons,repparttar 142530 principles we will cover here will help you.

The biggest challenge for most people when asked to make a presentation isrepparttar 142531 way their imaginations start to operate. All sorts of thoughts begin to swirl around – and how many are to do with things going wrong, fluffingrepparttar 142532 words, audience reactions etc. etc. and compared with it going successfully and being enjoyable? One way to change this initial response is to followrepparttar 142533 basic ideas covered below. Also, accept that it is not a bad thing to have some nerves. They trigger a chemical reaction which, harnessed properly, will help to make your presentation a success.

The secret is to remember that when you see good presenters, you are only seeingrepparttar 142534 tip ofrepparttar 142535 iceberg. A great deal has gone on beneathrepparttar 142536 surface to enable them to berepparttar 142537 person you see. For those who have a real fear of presenting, they makerepparttar 142538 problem worse. They go into denial ofrepparttar 142539 presentation, use this to keep putting off doingrepparttar 142540 things beneathrepparttar 142541 surface with all sorts of excuses and reasons – so that when they come torepparttar 142542 actual presentation it does not go well. Then they can say, “Told you so! See, I’m no good at presentations!” The art of self-fulfilling prophecy continues. To preventrepparttar 142543 paranoia – make time to dorepparttar 142544 fundamentals! Plan and prepare. Also, have a realistic level of expectation. Too many people, when having to make a presentation, spend too much time focusing on themselves. There is a balance to be met – andrepparttar 142545 secret for a good presentation is to keeprepparttar 142546 focus onrepparttar 142547 audience, and your subject and objective. Getrepparttar 142548 first two right andrepparttar 142549 third will take care of itself!

To get your planning underway, ask yourself some simple questions:

WHAT: Considerrepparttar 142550 purpose ofrepparttar 142551 presentation, to inform, influence, inspire, generate action? Be more specific, what are my objectives from this? What arerepparttar 142552 key things you wantrepparttar 142553 audience to take away with them – or to do?

WHO: Put your focus onrepparttar 142554 people you will be presenting to. How many will they be? What are their objectives? What is their level of knowledge? Will they be a “willing” audience or were they sent? When you haverepparttar 142555 answers to these points, you have some idea of what level to pitch your presentation.

WHERE: Isrepparttar 142556 presentation going to be made in a meeting room, someone’s office, a large venue? What will berepparttar 142557 layout? How flexible is it? (You can always ask to have it set-up to suit you, though a boardroom table is hard to adjust!) What equipment is available? What do you need to take?

WHEN: What time of day are you presenting? Are there other presenters before and after you? What impact will these two answers have on your approach torepparttar 142558 presentation?

HOW: How long have you got? Remember, longer is not necessarily better! Also, although this may seem odd if you are nervous about presentations, it is harder to plan and prepare a brief, effective presentation than to organise a longer one. (Churchill, amongst others, is quoted as saying something alongrepparttar 142559 lines of, “It takes me 10 minutes to prepare for a 2 hour speech – and 2 hours to prepare for a 10 minute one.”)

Putrepparttar 142560 answers to these together and you are in a position to beginrepparttar 142561 preparation ofrepparttar 142562 presentation itself. Some things to consider are:

  • Pull togetherrepparttar 142563 broad content – what is it you want to say? Think aboutrepparttar 142564 headlines for each part. (You can find your own way to do this, though creativity helps with approaches such as mindmapping or just Post-it notes! These are better than just pages of notes.)
  • Gather information – get facts, opinions, research and anything else which might help.
  • Check back with your objectives – andrepparttar 142565 audience’s. Make sure there is a match.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use