It is a great feeling to work hard, finding more and more new clients that need your expertise in medical writing and finally enjoying the fruits of your labor.
But once you start working with a new client, it is important to be diligent at strengthening and maintaining that relationship.
Getting the business of organizations/companies that need assistance related to medical writing is only half the battle; keeping them is the other half. And I dare to say, that keeping your clients requires more work, as compared to winning them.
Continued good relationship with your new clients is not a given. You must earn the right to maintaining their loyalty.
We have compiled a few recommendations here because we want you to succeed in your endeavors, but we are equally positive that you yourself could add a few good ideas.
These 14 preliminary suggestions will help you earning the right to be trusted by your clients with their business.
1. Complete projects prior to their due date. Even if it’s only a day or two early, clients will be pleased by the fact that you are showing strong interest in their business. They will also appreciate the elimination of the need for sending you a reminder; not to mention the concern for potential problems. By consistently working in this fashion you will earn their trust. Trust is the most important thing in a client-business relationship.
2. Always deliver your best work, even in the first draft. Exceeding your client’s expectations is a sure way to win their long-term support. If possible, employ a professional proofreader, who also excels in language rules. Do not send to a client anything that does not make you proud.
3. Help the client in producing the results they are seeking to achieve. In every project you receive from the client, attempt to focus on the results. If you are not sure what is it that the client is seeking to accomplish: ask questions. One important thing to remember: if you infuse your skills, knowledge and experience into every project, you are on your way toward your goal.
4. Never complain about too many changes. On the contrary; offer your clients making all the changes they see a need for without any additional charges. It is your goal to make your client satisfied with your service, pleased that they have selected you to work on their important projects and eager to hire you for their next outsourcing need. The phrase “The Customer is King,” applies to online business connections too.
5. Be honest; do not take assignments that are beyond your knowledge and/or experience. It is always better to decline accepting a project than creating a situation whereby you will need to seek help from other “real” experts in order to be able to complete your assignment.
By accepting a project beyond your abilities, you are taking a huge chance that the client will not like the end product. Why? Because your assistant is not familiar with your client’s needs and wants and he/she may not work with the same style as you do, which the client will sense immediately upon receiving your work.
By being candid, you will actually gain a new client, because this client will value your honesty that saves them frustration, time and money.
Actually, the best way to lose a client and damage your reputation in the process by biting off more than you can chew.
6. Always respond to your client’s communications, including letters, e-mails and telephone calls, promptly. In the event you were not able to reply in a timely fashion, apologize for the delay and offer a kind of compensation that you know will make your client pleased (perhaps even forget about your less than satisfactory response?).
7. Communicate Openly and Effectively. Never assume that your client knows or understands everything you are sending their way. Always select to over-communicate as compared to under-communicate. Most clients appreciate transparency, even if at times it may mean unpleasant information. Clear communication prevents misunderstandings and unmet expectations.
8. Be a networker. In addition to sharing your skills and knowledge with clients, share your contacts as well. If you link them with trusted contacts to provide services your clients will trust your advice. This networking may also be reciprocated: when your client links you up with their own contacts a web of rewarding relationships can grow.
9. Offer help in solving their problems, if you can. More often than not, clients are hiring you to help solving a problem. The more problems you can help solving, the better your relationship with the client will be.
Clients will actually feel indebted to you by helping them to resolve issues they thought were difficult to work out, or providing assistance in overcoming obstacles that require delicate handling.
Perhaps you can help solving a problem that the client was not even aware of it existing. Can you imagine that? This client you would have for eternity.
10. Be willing to learn. Be open to new ideas. Clients like to see that you are really thinking through a situation instead of jumping to a solution with very little thought process into it.
11. Show gratitude. You should express appreciation for their business through every opportunity that emerges. You should thank the client for giving you their business, you should thank them for the prospect to serve them, and you should be grateful for the opportunity in assisting them to succeed in their business.
You should acknowledge the trust they placed in you by assigning their important projects to you and offer 100% guarantee for satisfaction.
It’s not a bad idea to stay in touch with clients in between projects, as well. You could send clients a personal message; perhaps cards and gifts during the holiday season or other appropriate times if it matches your relationship with the client.
12. Offer discounts on repeat business. Give them a reason to keep coming back. Helping clients reducing stress on their budget always helps.
13. Offer something FREE. Getting new clients with a free introductory offer works wonders.
People appreciate the opportunity to getting to know you a bit better prior to signing up for your services. This actually works both ways; you also want to have a feel for the “chemistry” between you and the potential client.
This FREE session is a great tool in the decision process for a good fit. You and the client are seeking to develop a long-term relationship in order to reduce the time and money needed for finding one.
Make sure obtain enough information from the potential client in order to be able to show them how you will deliver the results they are seeking to achieve.
However, you will also need to inform your potential client about the high demand for your services. You will need to ask them to make a prompt decision for hiring you, because you are only taking as many new clients as you can handle in delivering a guaranteed success.
If the potential client wishes to take advantage of your skills, knowledge and experience that is infused into every project you are working on, they need to narrow the decision process significantly and act within the next few days.
14. Ask questions. Asking questions helps you understand your client’s wishes better. Take time to ask what they think, listen to their feedback, and incorporate it into your finished product so that it reflects their wishes.
And now back to you. Could you add some additional pointers? I am sure if you are a medical writer, and/or providing services as a “medical writer” you must have used some of the recommendations listed above. If you did, were you successful? If not, will you be trying some of the suggestions? Which of the above recommendations you like the most? Could you please share with us your experiences?