Golf is known as the sport of business, and it’s not just because it provides a relaxing break from the office. Why do you think so many business deals are closed on the golf course? It’s because the sport allows entrepreneurs to meet with their clients in a casual setting, getting to know them in a context outside an endless chain of emails.
Whether or not you’re a fan of golf, applying this principle and spending time with your clients can build trust and take your business to the next level – but it’s important to strike a balance between friendship and professionalism. Through my years of experience working as a business advisor and leading a team of chartered accountants in Watford, I’ve come to understand the necessity of spending time with clients and how to best approach these meetings. Here’s what I’ve learned, and how it can help your business reach new heights.
Establishing a rapport
In order to build meaningful, lasting business relationships, you need to get to know your clients. The easiest way to do this is, of course, by speaking with them face-to-face. This type of communication is an important reminder that your client is more than an email address or a disembodied voice on a phone, and it helps you understand their sense of humour, motivations and outlook. Plus, you may find a common interest that forges a bond between you, strengthening the relationship between your companies.
You don’t have to arrange an elaborate golf outing to have a successful face-to-face meeting. Suggest that your next client meeting happens in the office rather than via conference call, or take your point of contact out for a business lunch instead of sending them an email. You can even set up regular breakfast meetings if you find yourself busy later in the day. These gestures show that you’re interested in learning about your clients, and that good communication is a priority for your business.
Striking a balance
Developing a personal connection with a client is great, but it’s crucial that you maintain the highest sense of professionalism all the while. Your in-person interactions with clients will reflect directly on your business, and you can ensure that a client walks away from your meeting with confidence in your company by behaving in a manner that is both approachable and capable.
Bettering your business
Let’s face it: communicating in person is typically more effective than shooting out an email or a text. In fact, one study demonstrated that a face-to-face request is 34 times more likely to be successful than one made via email. Spend time with your clients, and they’re bound to be more receptive to your offers and ideas. In addition, you’ll better understand their perspectives and what they need from your business, so you can tailor your products or services to their requirements.
At Dua & Co, our clients are our first priority, and that’s why we make it our mission to meet with each one and develop a lasting professional relationship with them. Whether you’re sealing a deal on the golf course or working out the fine print face-to-face in your office, setting aside just a few hours of your week to spend quality time with your clients pushes your career to new levels of success and adds great value to your business.