How to become a thought leader and expand your business relationships
Consider this business scenario: You’ve landed a big account for your company by converting a highly prized prospect into a valuable client. The new client has hired you to handle a specific scope of work and is counting on your team’s ability to deliver and above and beyond performance
While nothing is more important than delivering great customer service to satisfy the client, you may not realize that you’re probably overlooking unrealized opportunities to forge a stronger relationship with your customer.
Most companies focus solely on the task at hand — delivering what they’ve been contracted to deliver — and fail to take ample time to think about the bond they’re creating with the client and what possibly could be next.
There are myriad business opportunities available when your client is aware of the full range of capabilities your company has — but odds are that they don’t know about them. In more simple terms, it is one thing to provide service that keeps a customer; it is another to keep that customer and expand the relationship.
Establish a content marketing program
Too many companies do a poor job in communicating with their clients what else their company is capable of doing. A client may use you for Service A and has no idea you do Service B, or even have the expertise to advise you on it. As a result, your client doesn’t know to reach out to you to ask about the other services.
The good news is that this an easy fix. You can establish an internal thought leadership program that will allow you to better communicate with clients in the form of a comprehensive content marketing program.
Such a program will help you provide value that other service providers may not, and when clients see you as an informational resource and a partner, you can more easily expand the relationship.
Aside from providing value to the client with the content you distribute, a strong content marketing program allows you to showcase your brand’s personality. Clients will be able to connect with your brand on a more personal level.
The open communication will help strengthen relationships to the point where you can capture a premium price and eliminate price-jumping clients. Clients will pay more for a valuable relationship than simply look to get the lowest price elsewhere.
Be more than just an order-taker
Here’s an example: You are an insurance provider and your main product is life insurance, therefore most of the communication you have with your clients surrounds that topic.
But with a comprehensive content marketing program in place, you can reach your clients and educate them on additional offerings such as a wellness program or a health savings account program.
Or, let’s say you’re an accounting firm. You have a client that uses you for standard corporate accounting. However, other services you provide include risk management, financial planning and corporate organizational consulting.
The staff member handling your customer may be focused on the corporate accounting because that’s the client’s main need. If you establish more open communications through many channels as a thought leader, your client will turn to you and ask whether you can help with other needs.
Providing continually updated content through the right channels to the right clients enhances your day-to-day communications. Clients start seeing you as thought leaders and partners instead of just service providers.
It will help you expand relationships and, as a result, generate new business through more products and services.
Dave Fazekas is a Partner at InReg Partners.