Of course you would…
It almost sounds too good to be true, but guess what? There actually are two words that can help improve your client relations and help you get new clients. What’s more, you’ve probably known about these words since you were in kindergarten.
The words are simple: thank-you.
In this post, I’ll explain how saying thank-you will help improve your relationships with current clients and may even help you get new clients.
Five Times to Thank a Client or Prospective Client
Here are five occasions when you should consider thanking a client or prospective client:
- When they’ve met with you personally. Say something like, “Thank-you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday.”
- When they’ve interviewed you by phone. Say something like, “Thank-you for considering me for this project.”
- When they’ve gone out of their way to provide with support for a project. Say something like, “Thank-you for the help and support that you provided on XYZ project.”
- When you enjoyed the work that you did. Say something like, “Thank-you for giving me the opportunity to work on XYZ project. I really enjoyed it.”
- When you enjoyed dealing with the client as an individual. Say something like, “Thank-you for working with me on XYZ project. I think that we make a good team.”
Of course, the phrases above are just examples of how you might open a thank-you to a client or prospective client. You would then go on to customize your email or letter to your specific situation.
There are times when you may wish to offer a special thanks to certain clients. Here are some of those times:
- Holidays and other special occasions may call for a special thank-you in the form of a promotional or professional item.
- You can opt to provide a steady or particularly large customer with discounted rate.
- Existing clients may also appreciate getting advance notice of sales or special offers.
The bottom line is that, no matter how you go about doing it, saying thank-you is powerful.
Why Saying Thank-You Works
Why should I even bother thanking a client, or prospective client? You might be asking yourself this very thing.
I can think of three really good reasons to say thank-you:
- Saying thank-you acknowledges that you value your client’s time.
- Saying thank-you makes you stand out from your competition.
- Saying thank-you gives you a reason to stay in contact.
First of all, saying thank-you to a client for a meeting or interview shows that client that you understand how busy he or she is. You acknowledge that you know that their time is important.
Second, saying thank-you for a positive experience is the right thing to do. It’s polite, and politeness is something that is disappearing from our society. Chances are that your competition won’t thank a client or prospect, so saying thank-you makes you more memorable.
Finally, saying thank-you gives you an excuse to communicate with the client again. It’s a great follow up note to an interview. A thank-you email also keeps your name in front of the prospect as he or she decides which freelancer to choose for their project.
Saying thank-you can be misused, though. So, it’s important to use it appropriately.
Thank-You Hurdles to Watch Out for
Of course, there are times when it’s inappropriate to say thank-you to a client. Here some thank-you hurdles to avoid:
- The insincere thank-you. Don’t tell the client that you enjoyed working with them or on their project if you both know it’s not true. Most clients can sense when you’re being insincere.
- The inappropriate thank-you. Don’t thank your client for the support they gave you if they didn’t give you any help, and so on.
- The overblown thank-you. A thank-you need not be excessive to be effective. Don’t make your client uncomfortable by fawning on him or her or offering inappropriate gifts.
A Final Word About Thank-Yous
A thank-you also provides you with a great opportunity to ask for the work or for additional projects.
There’s nothing more natural than saying something like, “Thank-you so much for giving me the chance to work on XYZ project. Please let me know if you have anything else you’d like me to handle for you.”
Also, thanking a client for an interview provides the perfect opportunity to reinforce how much you’d like to work on the project.
In fact, if you’re not thanking your clients and prospects when the opportunity arises, you’re probably missing out on some business that could be (and should be) yours.
What About You?
When do you thank your clients? Do you think saying thank-you is important?
Why, or why not?
Did you know it’s Client Week on FreelanceFolder? That’s right, in order to celebrate the upcoming launch of The Client Machine (our new client-getting product), we’re writing exclusively about getting clients all week long. Make sure you sign up to be notified about The Client Machine, and come back every day for more articles about finding clients!
Top image by nateOne