Client Relationship Building Skills with John Doherty of Credo
Some consulting firms have the “juice,” others…maybe don’t. The way you sell and the way you market yourself has a big influence on whether or not your potential clients think you have the “juice.” Your client relationship building skills may need to be spruced up a bit.
My guest today is John Doherty, founder of Credo. Credo is a marketplace for clients to hire pre-vetted marketing professionals for a variety of consulting and agency needs. John shares with us specific tips like how to build trust, how to implement a sales process that works, and how to steadily elevate the level of strategy and expertise that you bring to these conversations.
In this episode, we’ll be talking about:
Why you should know your budget from the beginning
How to bring in leads
Building trust effectively
A lot of professionals will not figure out what their budget is. If you don’t have an idea what your budget is, it’s going to be hard to pitch a project that will be signed off on. You’re either going to present a wildly low estimate, and they’re not going to believe you can get it done for what you’re quoting. It could also go the other way: you’re going to come in wildly above budget, and your client is going to come back frustrated.
On Credo’s marketplace, John shares how the pros are bringing in leads, but there’s a kicker: there’s no one tried and true way. The channel John sees work best is referrals. If you can drill down and specialize in one thing, you become that go-to person for that specific need. Referrals work really well, especially when you’re just starting out. Keep in mind, though, referrals are hard to scale and they’re hard to make consistent.
Part of your client relationship building skills is to build trust in the sales process. John thinks of trust-building as a hierarchy. The first item being a niche-focused service; that’s social proof. Following that, you have logos: a visual representation of the types of clients you’ve served. Testimonials are the third item on the hierarchy, followed by case studies. Clients can see these verifiable results and make the choice if you’ve got the “juice.”