Do you remember how you treated your very first client?
You probably spent hours each day trying to stay in contact with them – through phone, e-mail, text or whatever other form of technology you had available at that time. You were interested in getting to know everything about them, personally and professionally, and made yourself available to them whenever they needed you, right? Why?
Because you knew that they were all you had. If they left, you would have been left with nothing. It is imperative that we do not lose that line of reasoning. View every single client the same way that you did the very first one. Get to know them like the back of your hand; find out their needs and do whatever you can to make sure that they are met.
The last thing that you want is for your clients to feel the need to go anywhere else for something that you can provide. Become a one-stop convenience shop for all of their vocal needs and services. Think about every other successful business today. When they realized that they did not have something that their customers needed, what did they do? They found a way to get it!
Why did McDonald’s start selling chicken sandwiches and salads? Why did Wal-Mart expand into “Super Centers” with garden, grocery and even automobile departments? Have you noticed that the local convenience store up the street is starting to carry more and more products every time that you shop there?
These companies understand that, as professionals, we have to struggle in order to stay relevant in our industry. This is true even if it means that we have to branch off into other industries just to enhance the quality and efficiency of our own services. If you cannot do something for a client but know someone that can, introduce your client to the “other” services that are offered by your company?
If you are a male but your client needs a female for a new voiceover project, introduce them to the other voices that you have available on your roster. You might be scratching your head, saying “But I don’t have any female voices on my roster!” If not, then you better find one! There are plenty of websites available today that can connect you directly to freelance voiceover artists looking for work. Facebook is a great tool for this as well. Put these sources to work for you. The goal is to make sure that your clients only have one name in mind whenever they need the services that you offer – yours!
Building this type of rapport with your customers and clients will make it much easier to ask for referrals and even ask for more business from them. They will be able to clearly see that they are more than just a number to you. They will strongly believe that you do not view them as expendable assets or mere pawns on a chess board that can be given away to the other side without causing any significant damage. They will be able to see that you truly care about them and their needs and will be willing to do whatever it takes to show you just how valuable you are to them as well.
Remember the Academy Award-winning film, Jerry Maguire, with Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr.? I’ve only seen it like 89 times! In this movie, Tom Cruise plays a successful sports agent that has an epiphany inspiring him to focus more on truly appreciating each individual client by focusing on their individual needs instead of focusing too much on having an abundance of clients because the only thing that you care about is the commission. Even though his character was chastised and criticized for this and literally had to start his business over again from scratch, he was able to build a more solid foundation based on quality instead of quantity that created a path for him to be achieve an astronomical level of success in the near future!
Have the Jerry Maguire mentality. Be willing to do what your competitor’s don’t so that you can live the life that your competitors won’t! If you view all of your customers as expendable assets, what happens when they are all gone? You are completely out of assets! If your customers are nothing but mere chess pawns that you allow to be taken easily, then your game is going to end much sooner than you think.
Keep in mind the words of Kenneth B. Elliott, Vice President of sales for the The Studebaker Corporation who said that “a customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
Remember that your customers are the reason why you exist as a professional. They are your family. Their projects are your children. Your clients are your keys to personal and professional success. Take care of them now or someone else will be more than happy to take care of them later!
This article was excellent and quite true. However, Jerry McGuire, in my opinion was one of the worst movies of all time – a low point in American cinematography. Why? Because Jerry’s relationship with the female lead (forget her name) was completely unbelievable. He seemed to spend very little time with her and care very little about her UNTIL he started making a lot of money (found success) and ONLY THEN did he come around and seem to even NOTICE her! And then the famous line that almost made me puke . . . “You complete me”.
I think what he meant was: “I have success and money now, so adding you as my trophy woman completes the deal”. Yet another Hollywood slap in the face of women everywhere. And yet your average American woman loved this movie. What a sad statement about our country and our priorities as individuals!
Thank you for the comments! I’m not much of a film critic and this wasn’t my favorite movie of all time either but I wanted to use Jerry as an example of someone who built his business from the ground up. Someone who believed he could do it. :-)