You’ve received the signed contract from a new client. Now what?
This is the most exciting time. You’ve worked incredibly hard to obtain a lead, nurtured them with the expertise your company offers, and now you’ve finally closed them. Your team has probably celebrated a bit, given a pat on the back to the sales team, and relished in knowing your company is growing. But this is just the beginning. Take a moment to celebrate, yes, but then know that what you do next is crucial in determining the health and stability of your client relationship.
Process Is Everything
Whether or not you have a process in place for what happens immediately after a new client signs can dictate the nature of your entire relationship. Sure, the exact cadence of a new client relationship takes some time to develop, but you need to have some process in place to start establishing consistent communication or you can quickly lose their trust. New clients still need to be “won over;” just because they’ve signed doesn’t mean they know what you can produce yet. Leaving them hanging by using vague language or not communicating quickly enough can make them feel uneasy.
What should a new client process entail? Here are 3 key factors:
- Start with a meeting to transfer all knowledge the sales team has of the client over to the team responsible for the deliverables.
- After they have all necessary information, set up a call to introduce the team to the client. At least one member of the sales team should be present to make the client feel at ease—not like they were just immediately shuffled off from the person they’ve gotten to know.
- After the meeting, the team should be fully equipped to start implementing initiatives for the client.
But that doesn’t mean the process is complete yet. Your client came to you expecting they’re hiring an expert. To prove you’re the expert, constant communication throughout the rest of your relationship will be key. Talking to your client every week—preferably on the phone, even if only for a few minutes—will assure them that they made the right choice by selecting you. Keep in mind that the cadence developed with the client should come from you, not the client. It can be tempting to go along with “whatever the client finds easiest” or “whatever the client wants.” But the truth is, they’ve come to you with a problem, and you’ve been hired to provide a solution. A specific process and constant communication is key to providing that solution.
As time goes on, on-boarding tasks are completed, and a relationship has been established, you’ll find that things begin to flow more naturally. But you can’t afford to get complacent; none of this can happen without a proactive process once you’ve signed that new client.
Develop your onboarding process and encourage the sales team to start closing clients!