The Client Side - Building a client base. It's a relationship thing.

I talk to a lot of people about business development and client management, especially in this market where things on that end are really challenging. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat and I hear all kinds of approaches to landing job orders. No matter how you land the job order, that's not the same as developing the client and building a strong client base. There is no doubt about it. Building a strong client base is a relationship thing. You may be able to land a job order with a good pitch, but you will only develop a good client by how you work with them and how you develop the relationship. This is important to keep in mind now as many clients don't have a job to give you, but will develop that relationship with you that will pay off down the line.

For me, this has always been a long term process. It's different for different people, but I never go into an initial call with a prospective client with the expectation that I'll get a job order that day. Don't confuse that with a lack of confidence or a lack of asking for the order. If the need is there, then there is a good chance that I'll get the job order and I always ask for it. However, my objective is to build a long term relationship with that client and do great work for them. That changes the dynamic and takes the pressure out of the call. It also puts you in the right place with that client from the get go. "I'm here to help you find the right people when the need is there, whether that is now or down the line." This is a start, and with solid follow up and a similar approach going forward you can build great client relationships that provide great business.

Todd Kmiec
Todd Kmiec & Associates

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