This should be an easy one, we all have clients and we all have emails. We definitely can’t do business without clients and in the modern age we probably couldn’t do business without emails. They are a necessity and they do make life a little easier, but do we rely on them too much? In my personal experience the answer to that is yes.
It’s becoming more and more common and worryingly acceptable for people to be using emails as their go to way of communicating with clients and only using the phone as a worst-case scenario.
This happens all the time, we are all guilty of it, and in some circumstances it’s probably quicker to just send an email. I’ve seen too many examples where people are emailing their clients instead of calling when someone doesn’t turn up for an interview, or the client hasn’t called the candidate, there's an offer, the client sends a job with no detail or you have a ton of CV’s waiting for feedback. It’s like we are scared of our clients.
It’s quite natural to think that, especially when you first get into managing clients. We put our clients up on a pedestal because they pay our fees. But that doesn’t mean we should be scared of them. You are not being a nuisance if you call them.
Our clients pay us a fee for a reason, they have asked us to provide a service that they either don’t have the time for or know how to do themselves. We are here for a reason and we are professionals. We shouldn’t be scared of our clients, they are not more important than us, nor are we them.
Some clients are great, some are not. Some clients we get on better with and they give us feedback asap. But we all have clients that we struggle with and that are slow with feedback. But instead of being proactive and try to rectify that we allow the situation to continue.
Our jobs rely on relationships, especially with our clients. And we can’t expect to make money with them if we are too scared to pick up the phone. Because that’s what it comes down to. It’s not laziness, it’s feeling like you are being a pain in the arse if you call them, so you come up with a bunch of reasons why emailing is the right thing to do. I’ve been there.
If you won’t pick up the phone then you are part of the problem, in fact you are making it worse. The classic example is when you are waiting for feedback, whether it be a CV or an interview and once a day or two or more have gone by, you start to think that you are pestering them if you keep calling, so you resort to an email, and worse still you apologise in the email for asking again.
Finding good CV’s and managing good candidates through a process isn’t always easy, especially if they have a ton of other things on the go, you’ve worked hard to find them, so why wouldn’t you pick up the phone? You are letting your hard work go to waste.
Like I said we all have good clients and bad clients, but if you find yourself moaning that your clients aren’t coming back to you, then you need to ask yourself ‘am I doing everything I can to improve this relationship?’ And if you are not prepared to feel uncomfortable occasionally and call them for the 5th time that day, then the problem will never be fixed. Fixing the relationship is our responsibility, not theirs. Things won’t change unless you do something different, and things won’t be different unless you make a change.