How to uncover new work opportunities in this December’s client conversations
In the run-up to the festive holiday many businesspeople are diarising online catch ups or calls with their clients to thank them for their business in the past year. At the same time, many businesses are incredibly busy actioning orders and supporting clients who want to complete particular projects and purchases before the holidays.
With so much ‘busyness’ around, spotting opportunities for further ways to support these clients can be missed. And yet the last month of the year is often a prime time for such opportunities to reveal themselves. In the run-up to the festive holiday, many people are struggling to get things done in a tight timeframe, some are reviewing what they achieved (or didn’t) after such a turbulent year and others are looking ahead to what they want from the year ahead.
In this post, we’ve shared some tips on how to be more strategic with your client conversations in December. This will enable you to further boost your knowledge and understanding of your clients, so you can explore areas to add greater value and provide more help, products or services to them next year.
How to uncover opportunities
- Be more strategic with your festive catch ups. As well as a time to say thank you to clients, these catch ups give you a great opportunity to explore broader issues the client has been dealing with and/or is planning to deal with. Whilst not all these issues may relate to your expertise and business offering, there may be some which have a potential for you or others in your network. Plan some topics and questions ahead of the call or online meeting. If you’re unsure, take a look at the client’s latest news and any social media activity – this will give you a handful of topics to initially raise with them in order to find out more. If you are showing genuine interest, the client is more likely to talk about the other issues going on in their ‘world’. Use the session to part review how they coped tyear and part look forward. Can you help at all?
- Use their deadline to you to explore others. If the client has a deadline they need you to work to, find out what other priorities they are trying to juggle. Ensure you meet the deadline they set in order to demonstrate your reliability. At the same time explore if there are any other ways you can help to tick more off their to-do list, or perhaps help them project-manage the completion of those to-dos more efficiently.
- Pick up on mood and tone clues in client conversations. In your regular dealings with clients pick up on their current mood. If clients are particularly stressed, find out why and again see if your business can offer help or provide additional service, support, products, knowledge or expertise to reduce the hassle they’re dealing with.
- Diarise a Happy New Year call or online meeting now for early January. Use the general quiet of the first working days of the year to take stock with your client of what worked well this year and how they would like your team’s approach to improve in the year ahead. At the same time, use this conversation to find out what goals and priorities they will be concentrating on in the year ahead.
Whilst it is tempting to keep your head down and concentrate on the general busyness of the season, client conversations at this time of year can reveal many opportunities to add further support and win new or repeat work commissions from them.
The key to all this is to have those conversations with clients in the first place. If you just rely on sending out a general festive e-shot to thank all clients for their custom, you are likely to miss these opportunities and the chance to position your business for additional work (and build the client’s loyalty) in the weeks and months to come. Make sure your business is the one which understands what is on the horizon for its clients in the year ahead and is helping them to achieve, manage or deal with those issues effectively.