Check this out:
I had a call with one of my clients yesterday and our customer success manager for a new SMS software we’re using.
(Quick side point: SMS is a simple way to give your clients more value and/or make more moolah from your customers.)
We started our meeting with the usual small talk which happens during meetings with folks you don’t know.
And during that small talk, the broad from the SMS company asked if me and my client were related.
My client’s response?
“John is like a son to me.”
He didn’t mean this literally, but he meant it.
Which brings me to the point:
This is the apex a freelancer can reach when it comes to the fabled idea of “job security.”
Any of my clients can fire me at any time or decide not to renew my services. I’ve been ghosted by clients (years ago, mind you) who owed me money. And while I don’t believe in “job security” in general, it’s even less applicable to the freelancer than the average Joe with a 9-5.
Your clients think of you as their son.
And you know what?
This isn’t the first time this particular client told me this.
Now, how did I develop this kind of relationship with my client? Keep in mind we’ve never met in person.
There are a few reasons:
I get results. This client made more guap from email alone in 2021 than his entire business made in 2019.
2. We meet often
I don’t like having too many meetings because there’s not a stupider way to waste your time and pretend you’re busy. But my client and I have frequent catch ups where we not only talk about business, but talk about life.
3. I keep him in check
He frequently forwards me opportunities that could make business sense and I give him my honest opinion.
An ad agency specializing in the LGBT market reached out to him last week. He forwarded it to me and wanted my opinion because the salesman he chatted with said this group of people would be interested in our products.
(Remember, this is an alternative health company who bashes the CDC, masks, lockdowns, the whole nine yards.)
In my experience, this is the LAST group of people we should market to. Nothing against the LGBT group personally, but if pronouns in bio people on Twitter taught me anything, it’s that these people aren’t worth the headache they’ll cause. Not to mention, it doesn't fit with our avatar — aka someone who’s open to alternative approaches rather than scarfing down whatever the CDC force feeds them.
He thanked me for my honesty and told me salesmen have too much power over him.
4. Buying him gifts
This past Christmas, I bought a fancy bottle of olive oil for all my clients. It was a hoot — and he even returned the favor with a gift of his own.
5. We chat about things other than business
I mentioned this already but it bears repeating:
Your clients are human.
Your customers are human.
Humans don’t like to talk business 24/7/365.
Sometimes, we just wanna shoot the shit about random happenings in life.
It’s not unusual for me and this client to talk for hours about nothing related to business.
And, no, it’s not a waste of time like how meetings are procrastination in disguise.
Because it deepens our relationship.
Results are great. You need results to retain clients.
But results pale in comparison to a relationship.
Want to get better results from your email and form an unbreakable bond with someone you’ve never met in person?