Doctors and CEOs really aren’t all that different. They both have busy careers, must make important decisions, and need to know the best way to communicate with the people they serve. So, if you’re a CEO having a difficult time managing your clients, pretend you’re a doctor and think of your clients like needy hospital patients. It will help you become more effective in keeping your clients happy. Here are some tips on how to achieve this goal.
Build Relationships with Your Clients that Go Beyond Business
Image via Flickr by SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget
When you’re a patient in a hospital, everything is scary. You know that every time someone in scrubs walks into your room it is to do something unpleasant to you or to discuss something important. Clients feel the same way, and it’s your job to make them feel comfortable. You do this by building relationships that go beyond all the business stuff. Find out if your clients have kids, hobbies, or other things you can use to connect and build more meaningful relationships. This will make working together more pleasant and relieve tension. Meaningful relationships also help build loyalty, which is very important in the business world.
Establish Client Expectations from the Beginning
Doctors always present the worst possible scenario and then tell patients to hope for the best. This is something you should do with your clients. Always under-promise and then over-deliver. Your clients will be impressed that things turned out better than they expected, which keeps them happy. Of course, there is some grey area in this because if you can’t promise clients what they want, they may take business elsewhere. A good rule of thumb is just to deliver more than they were expecting.
Agree on a Plan and Timeline
Nothing is worse than sitting in a hospital bed and having no idea when you’ll be allowed to go home. You want a plan and a timeline on how you’re going to get there. That’s one of the first things you learn in geriatric nurse practitioner programs. Clients need the same thing to stay happy about their projects. Therefore, always have a plan for your clients that includes a timeline for key tasks to occur or be completed and make sure that they agree on it.
Be in Constant Communication with Your Clients
Hospital patients hate waiting for test results and any other information pertaining to their care. Clients hate waiting, too, especially if there is a problem. So, make sure that you are in constant communication with your clients. Send them updates when anything new happens and try to touch base at least once a day when you’re working on something important. Clients want to know that things are happening and your updates are the only way that they can find out. Don’t keep them waiting.
Clients have the same emotional needs as hospital patients. If you're as attentive as a doctor, your clients will stay happy and your business will be more productive and profitable.