Communication is one of the keys to building a successful partnership with your new HR Freelance client. Create a longer and stronger relationship with your client and secure more HR projects on HaitchR. Your potential clients will choose to work with you because they believe you can help them solve their short term or long term challenges they face in HR. Please do remember that if your communication style causes new problems, you may lose that client’s trust and that business relationship could come to an abrupt end. Strong client communication offers many benefits for you and is a skill that you can translate into your personal life:
Great communication provides project direction and purpose from day 1
Build client trust after initial contact has been made
Increase understanding of the client’s perspective and their expectations
Align easily with their budgets, and deliverables when you can ensure you create a two way communication channel
Avoid confusion which is key to reducing conflict in new business relationships
Communication is crucial at every stage of a client relationship:
On our platform you can easily pitch your services either directly to clients who have posted a request for proposals, it can be that they have identified you as a potential match due to your amazing profile. You need to align your services with their goals and sell the client on how you can help them.
As you prepare a project proposal or work contract, you need to be clear about the project’s deliverables, budgets, and expectations.
Once the engagement begins, you need to keep the client informed on progress to build trust and ensure that the client is comfortable with the process.
As you finish your first project, your communication skills will be vital to extending that relationship and continuing to work together in the future, provide them advice but not answers.
Communication during long-term client relationships helps to provide direction for future projects and encourages your clients to refer others to your business.
Because communication plays such a crucial role at every step of the client’s journey, it’s essential to improve your client’s communication skills. Below are ten ways to do this successfully.
1) Establish a human connection
Your client is not an empty vessel! Business is about people and relationships, You are selling yourself, and your brand as much as your service. The more you can connect with your client personally, the stronger your relationship will be. Creating a shared connection with your client will make your client feel understood and appreciated. Understanding who you’re working with allows you to put yourself in their shoes and empathize with them.
It is important to build a rapport from the outset, they should never dread an upcoming conversation with you. Regardless of your personality type, you can build a bond with your clients. This bond starts with being friendly, approachable, and having a positive attitude, but not too positive as it can be irritating too. Even on the busiest days, treat your client like their needs are a priority and give them your full attention during meetings. Creating this human connection plays a crucial role in ensuring that you are consistently aligned with the client’s goals and needs.
2) Understand your client’s communication channels
Learn how your client’s point of contact likes to communicate. Do they prefer a phone call, email, or face-to-face meetings? If your client hates checking their email and prefers to conduct business face-to-face, sending email updates will not be sufficient. Communication is only successful when both parties receive and understand the message. Being flexible and matching your client’s preferred communication methods will make it easier for them to understand your intended message. If possible, select a specific point of contact, and communication should primarily flow through them rather than have many communication streams with a client.
3) Schedule consistent communication
Do not let them down. Set a consistent schedule for correspondence and maintain it. The frequency should reflect your client’s preference, whether daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or quarterly. Having this consistent and reliable planned communication will make the client feel more comfortable that your business is taking care of their needs and not being forgotten.
4) Respect the client’s time
Time is Money!, so don’t make your client feel like you are wasting theirs. Show up to meetings on time. If a client calls, answer it if possible, rather than just calling them back later. If a client messages you directly on the HaitchR chat console, it is vital to respond to it quickly. If you cannot fully respond to a message at that moment, even a simple acknowledgment that you have seen it can be reassuring. Just make sure to follow up promptly with a full answer to their question.
5) Be transparent
Transparency is critical to successful client communication. Being clear and honest throughout your relationship makes it easier to build and keep your client’s trust. Whether you are delivering good news, bad news, or no news, it is necessary to be straightforward with your clients. If your client feels like they are in the dark, they may assume the worst. If a project is delayed, or you don’t know the answer to a client’s question, be transparent and communicate it to the client.
6) Use a collaboration tool
The rise of online collaboration tools makes working with clients easier and faster. You can be confident to share information in your profile of the technology you use, are experienced with or would like to suggest.
7) Set expectations and boundaries
While you want to be there for your clients at all times, it isn’t always realistic. Know your limitations and boundaries so that you can communicate them to your client in advance. For example, if you take a month’s vacation every year and can’t be reached during that time, your clients should know about it. This allows you the opportunity to set expectations in advance and to develop a game plan. Setting proper expectations will make your client feel more informed and prepared.
8) Set an agenda and send a recap
Be purposeful when it comes to meetings with clients. Set an agenda and outline what you intend to discuss. When you are meeting with a client, it’s essential to understand how they best absorb information. Does the client prefer back-and-forth discussions, visual presentations, reviewing data, or short updates? Tailor your meeting plan accordingly and use your client’s natural communication style so that the client is more receptive to the information.
Then, once the meeting is over, send the client a recap of your discussion. A meeting recap creates a record that can be referenced later to see what was covered, what everyone is accountable for and any upcoming to-dos.
9) Ask questions as needed
Create a framework to ask the right questions. Questions play an important role in communication. They help you clarify your understanding and make sure that you are on the same page as your client. Plus, asking questions shows the client that you are engaged and interested in the conversation.
If you’re unsure about any details for a project, don’t make assumptions. Instead, ask the client. It’s better to ask a lot of questions rather than waste your time delivering something the client doesn’t want.
10) Ask your prospect HR Leader feedback
The best way to improve is to ask your clients for feedback. Asking your client about specific ways to be a better partner will make you a better partner. If a client takes the time to provide you feedback, listen. Reflect on what they’re saying, and then try to incorporate it.