For startups and young businesses, the opportunity to work with a VIP client is something you can’t afford to swing and miss on. That’s why it’s imperative that you understand how to nail the first impression and continue impressing over the duration of your relationship.
How to Wow Your VIP Clients
Every client your business has is important, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that certain clients are more important. Understanding how to really wow these clients – and prospective clients – will help you earn their business and hang on to them over the long haul.
The key to wowing VIP prospects and clients is to strike a balance between authenticity and schmoozing. While easier said than done, here are a few practical suggestions you may be able to implement.
1. Make Personal Connections
Many business professionals make the mistake of talking too much business with prospects and clients. While it’s obviously important to have business discussions, you really build respect and relational equity by forging personal connections.
A client is more likely to do business with you if they enjoy being around you. Try to find some common ground outside of work – such as hobbies, mutual connections, and personal interests. Not only does this make conversation easier, but it also makes you more memorable.
2. Ask Lots of Questions
There’s a time and place for you to talk, but you really want to get the prospect or client talking as much as possible. The best way to do this is by asking lots of questions – open-ended questions, in particular.
“Broad, open-ended sales questions are great for helping you find out what’s going on in your prospects’ and clients’ worlds,” sales coach Mike Shultz writes. “They help you connect with buyers personally, understand their needs, understand what’s important to them, and help them create better futures for themselves.”
3. Reduce Friction
You need to go above and beyond the normal call of duty. This means reducing as much friction as possible and making everything as easy as possible on your prospects and clients.
A simple illustration would be calling ahead before you take a client to a restaurant. Not only do you want to make reservations, but you should also ensure the details are all taken care. For example: call ahead and order a bottle of wine, ask for an appetizer to be made upon arrival, and have the chef personally visit the table.
A more extravagant illustration would be reserving a charter for business travel, as opposed to a commercial flight. When you reserve a private charter jet, you mitigate travel-related stress, reduce the risk of delays and cancellations, and get the opportunity to sit and talk with the client in a one-on-one setting for an uninterrupted block of time.
4. Show Undivided Attention
When interacting with a VIP prospect or client, they need to feel like they are your only care in the world. The way you do this is by showing undivided attention.
Showing undivided attention means turning off your phone. In fact, you shouldn’t look at your phone a single time when interacting with a VIP. At first, this will feel impossible, but you’ll eventually learn to embrace it.
5. Act Like Yourself
As important as it is to wine and dine VIP prospects and clients, don’t do so at the expense of losing who you are. People can tell when you aren’t being genuine.
Take a look at your personality and pull out your greatest strengths. When engaging people, you want to emphasize your strengths and avoid your weaknesses. In doing so, you’ll be able to wow prospect and clients without being someone you aren’t.
Set Yourself Apart
If you’re slapping the VIP label on a prospect or client, you better believe your competitors are as well. This means they’re also going to spend a lot of time, energy, and money coming after them.
At the end of the day, you’re trying to set yourself apart. You want to wow prospects and clients so much that they have no other choice but to work with you. And while each client is different, you’ll become more comfortable with this aspect of business as you gain hands-on experience. Good luck!