To Build Client Relationships, All You Need Is Love

love-is-all-you-needHow much love are you giving to your clients? How do you show them that you care?

While some people focus more on romantic love on Valentine’s Day — showing affection through flowers, candy, or a romantic dinner — it’s the more universal meaning of love that reminds us that we can do  more to meet the needs of our clients. The Oxford Dictionaries defines love as “an intense feeling of deep affection” or “a person or thing that one loves.”

One of the most iconic songs about love, All You Need Is Love, written by John Lennon, sung by the Beatles, and released in July, 1967 shares a message that is just as relevant today as it was back then.

If you were to show your clients (internal and external) how you love and care about them, what would that look like? How would you show them that you care? Here are some simple tips to help you give more love to your clients:

Get personal. In all relationships, whether business or personal, we learn about each other by sharing information about our lives, not just our business experience. Learn about your client’s personal life, hobbies, interests, family, charitable causes, life goals, greatest challenges, and triumphs. The more you know, the deeper your relationship can become.

Acknowledge that you enjoy working with them. All too often, we rely on implicit rather than explicit communication, which can keep people guessing. If you love working with a client, tell that client exactly how you feel. “I enjoyed working with you on this project because we brought our individual strengths to the process. I look forward to working on our next project.”

Keep in touch. It’s easy to get busy working on other things, yet it’s so simple to pick up the phone, send a quick email or text to check in with your clients. Your thoughtfulness will go a long way to deepen your relationship.

Get in the habit of asking. We often forget to ask the much-needed question: “What else can I do to help you?” This will get your client thinking beyond today, and planning for the future. If your client hasn’t thought about this, your question will get the ideation process moving.

Show your appreciation. Your client could go to someone else for services, yet you were the person who was chosen for the project. Send your client a note of appreciation that says “I value you as a client.”

Have fun. The best working relationships that show love in action are those where people feel comfortable with each other and bring more of their authentic selves to the relationship. They have fun. My favorite clients are the ones who share that mutual feeling…I love working with and being with them, and they feel the same way about me.

As you look at your relationships with your clients, answer these questions:

What are you doing to make your clients feel more connected to you?

How can you show your love to your clients?

Don’t just express your appreciation one day each year. Show your clients how much you value them throughout the year.

Write a Love Note, Adult Style

AValentineGirlOpenjpg004The biggest “love day” celebration comes on Valentine’s Day – February 14 – each year, when people remember the people they love and admire the most by offering a card, a call, chocolates, dinner or a gift.

When I was in elementary school, beginning the first week of February, each student would bring in a shoe box, decorated as a repository for classmates’ valentines professing their love (or like) to you. Even the kids who nobody liked received and gave valentines as a sign of unity. With some glue and scissors in hand, I would cut multiple hearts out of red construction paper and add a few of my mom’s paper doilies, add my name – Christine – in big letters (in crayon, of course), and proudly display it at the back of the classroom with the others students’ boxes. Of course I hoped that mine would stand out so my classmates would simply have to put a valentine in my decorated box. The memory is vivid because it was the one time of the year when appreciation was shown through giving and receiving.

In my workshops, people often tell me how much it means to them to receive recognition. “All I want to know is if I’m doing a good job.” “I would like to receive some feedback more often than just during my annual performance review.” Words cost less than valentines. Words cost nothing, yet they can bring such joy and delight when they are sent with love, kindness and good intention.

AValentineGirlClosedjpg003I purchased this adorable valentine at an antique store years ago and recently rediscovered it while cleaning out some drawers. It got me thinking that we need to share our love, appreciation and gratitude with people who mean the most to us more than just once a year. Imagine how different your life would be if you brought the spirit of Valentine’s Day into your daily activities.

Who in your life would you like to give a valentine to? That valentine can come in any form: A written letter, a card, a brief phone call or even an email or text message. Whether it is love or gratitude that you want to acknowledge, appreciation or a thank you for a kind gesture, take the time to do it. People in your life will truly appreciate your thoughtfulness.