How to Start a Relationship with a New Client

By: The Saver Magazine Team

While taking on a new client might seem intimidating, it is an important task you will most likely have to complete at your PR agency job. Our team at The PRactice, has taken on a new client this semester, in which we’re witnessing first-hand the effort and trust in order to grow a new brand. It can be scary to make a first impression, represent your agency, and make the client happy. We’ve pulled together some tips for creating a healthy relationship with your new client to calm those fears.

Make the First Connection

Making the initial connection with your client is the first step to success. Getting to know your client on a personal level is crucial to set the foundation for a positive relationship.  Sharing your own experience in public relations and your career journey can be a great conversation starter.  Discussing your background can be vital in building a connection and gaining your client’s trust. Interview your client about the company’s origin, morals, and expectations. Having open and honest communication with your client will set the tone for the relationship. 

Discuss Goals and Listen to New Ideas

When discussing goals with a new client, it is important to find out your client’s goals and a realistic way your agency can help assist them reach those objectives. Fight the need to say ‘yes’ to everything your client wants and focus on realistic goals.

Another helpful tactic for beginning a relationship with a new client is creating a SWOT analysis, which highlights the client’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This document will help you understand your client’s brand and how you can help their b brand improve.

Set Up a Meeting Schedule

Consistent communication between an agency and its clients is crucial to a successful relationship. Establish a set time and day each week to meet with your clients. These meetings will allow for you to keep your client updated on the progress you have made, and the client gets the opportunity to explain the goals they want you to accomplish. Each meeting should conclude with a written summary that explains what you discussed, what you agreed to accomplish, and a timeline of when assignments should be completed the following week and in the long-term. This will hold the agency and the client accountable and ensure that no task gets left behind!

Report Back to the Client

As your work with your client progresses, make sure to keep communication open with your client by staying in contact with them frequently. Report issues, celebrate successes, and work through any potential problems. It’s important to make your client feel like a part of the process as you work together towards a common goal. In your meetings, make sure to communicate issues, questions, and ideas your team has. It’s always better to over-communicate than under-communicate with your client.

Your client may not fully understand the breadth of your PR efforts, so it’s important to accurately describe your impact. Use audience views, brand impact, key performance indicators, and coverage sentiment to show your client the numbers behind your success. Hopefully, your client will be impressed and be excited to continue your partnership!

Be positive, flexible, and patient

When working with your client, it’s important to be flexible, positive and patient. This allows for the client to be confident and put trust in the relationship with the agency and you. Being optimistic enables a strong work ethic and allows for increased creativity. Furthermore, flexibility is a key component in accomplishing your goals. Being willing and able to adapt is crucial when working with others, as it shows hard work and understanding. Finally, patience expresses mutual respect and shows that you genuinely care for the client and their overall success. When the client has specific needs, having patience shows them that you are willing to stick with them and can appropriately tackle work challenges when faced with them.

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