The success of a company often relies heavily on the strength of its client relationships and so building strong client relationships is therefore critical for business growth.
But, when we think about activities that build client relationships – we think entertainment that is almost always alcohol focused; long boozy lunches, after-work alcohol fuelled sessions or other similarly alcohol-centric activities.
So, when you’re promoting a program to take a break from alcohol in your workplace, the first thing people will think is “but how can I possibly entertain clients and not drink?”. They have a belief that it is not possible to entertain clients without booze and they generally believe that it will negatively impact their business performance if they decline when a client takes them out for lunch.
How to build strong client relationships without alcohol:
- Get to know your clients
- Organise innovative alcohol-free entertainment
- Make each client feel like your no.1
- Personalise their experience
- Keep communication open
We have some ideas that will encourage employees to take a break from drinking that will shift these beliefs to help them see a positive outcome from this lifestyle choice, give them confidence in their decision not to drink and will also entertain and impress clients.
Get to know your clients
The first step is to really spend the time to get to know your clients and what makes them tick. Take your conversations a little deeper than the usual pleasantries and get to know about their families, their hobbies, or their general interests. Not only will they feel like you really care about them as people beyond their role as clients, but you’ll also be arming yourself with the necessary knowledge to create a more personalised experience.
You may know everything you need to know about their business or product, but does this translate over into what they’re like as a person? With this kind of knowledge, you’ll be able to creatively think of ways to really speak to them and make them feel valued.
You don’t need alcohol to make an event special or appealing to your clients. In fact, alcohol-free entertainment is fast becoming a popular option for companies wanting to make an impression and give their clients something special. Not only are you making it easier on yourself to make a great impression – no drunken slip-ups or mistakes – but you’re also opening the door to more inventive and personalised options.
Alcohol-free bars are popping up left, right and centre as more and more people are challenging their relationship with drinking, giving you a comfortable way to ease into AF events if you’re a little unsure of how to proceed. But, you also have the chance to flex those creative muscles and find entertainment options that are new and interesting.
Make every client feel like number one
Of course, all of your clients are as important as each other when it comes to your business. But, they should never feel like they are just one of many. In fact, they should feel like they are your number one client every time you interact with them. Whether they are your top billed client that is regularly featured in business magazines or a small business who only bring your company a few hundred every month – they should always feel like number one.
By doing this, they’re more likely to give you referrals, trust your opinions, and stay loyal to your brand.
Going the extra mile for your clients can only benefit your relationships, and one way to do this is by organising services or packages that are tailored just for them. If you’re able to adjust your offering in this way, then your clients will definitely sit up and take notice.
Of course, you may be thinking that you simply don’t have the resources to do something like this. And, while this may be true, there are a number of benefits you can gain from taking this approach. By impressing a new client with a personalised service, may secure new opportunities that were not previously available, and start to create a positive reputation for the way you handle your clients.
A final word
While making changes like these can really help to build and maintain client relationships in new and accelerated ways, it doesn’t mean you should stop what you’re already doing. Regular phone calls, lunch meetings, and check-ins are always important. As is keeping them updated with what you’re doing for them, keeping them in the loop every step of the way.
You don’t need alcohol to achieve any of this, and who knows – if you explain that your company is taking part in one of the One Year No Beer challenges, they might even decide to join you and see that benefits for themselves first hand.