In a technology-focussed world, the ‘old school’ business practices of face-to-face and personal client contact are not being embraced by the next generation of professionals – to their detriment.
Many younger people struggle to form solid professional relationships with clients because they rely too heavily on technology, such as email or text, in order to communicate. One of the best ways to establish and maintain trust and mutual respect through clients, and to build strong relationships, is through personal contact.
In my view, nothing beats picking up the phone and talking to clients – unless it is a face-to-face meeting. While email is useful and often necessary, it shouldn’t be treated as the only communication tool available, as it doesn’t allow the connection and collaboration that is such an integral part of the job.
It’s important to show that you understand each client in order to help them meet their goals. Excellent client relations and customer service are based on knowing what each individual needs and wants, and this includes their preferred methods of communication which could be as simple as a phone call.
Those who are mentoring or managing millennials must find ways to encourage them to look beyond the ease and convenience of email and text communication when dealing with clients.
Some tips for millennial professionals include:
- Plan for the future by building strong relationships early in your career – pick up the phone and make plans to meet your clients face-to-face
- Remember you’re providing the service to your client, not the other way around
- Talk straight – tell clients what they need to know not what they want to hear
- If you make a mistake, take the time to understand what went wrong – this is the best way to learn