I have gone through many changes in my life, both personal and professional. More than once, I’ve had to retool myself in order to walk new career paths. Life isn’t about the easiest path you take, but improving the path you’re on. While placing my footprints on these different paths, I’ve had one constant which has remained true.
Recently I was contacted by a past client for a language translation project. The last time I actually spoke with this client was over four years ago; two employment opportunities for me later. After being in the language industry for over nine plus years, I recently opened my own firm. Do I know it all? Not a chance. Do I work hard? Yes! But that work is for my clients so they have greater success in their endeavors.
As I mentioned, I was contacted by a past client. This client knew I left one language service provider and had gone to work for another firm. I do not know if this client knew I left the second firm midway through 2015. When I decided to hang my own shingle, I contacted several past clients and some prospects I had been in contact with over the past five years. The client in question was not one that I sent my “introduction” email to. It’s not that I didn’t want to contact him; I had just lost his contact information. The reason I sent out the email introduction was twofold. First, to restart past conversations in hopes of future business. Second, I did not have a website yet, thus email and LinkedIn became my two allies.
This particular client contacted me regarding a project he had wanted me to bid on. I assumed my past client had reviewed my LinkedIn profile, saw my new status, and my new email and contact info. After all, he contacted me via my new email address. After reviewing my clients LinkedIn profile, I noticed the client had all of 11 connections. Thus this client was not a “LION” of LinkedIn but did use it for research. What this recent event underscored is the following: if you give your client good service and show them respect, they will remember and recommend you. If you give them bad service, they will only remember you. You can contact them through some “client contact system” as long as it is done respectfully. Be respectful of their time by sending them relevant information pertaining to their situation and needs.
One of the mainstays in my professional life has always been about giving good service. Don’t over sell and under deliver. Help them find solutions to their problem even when there is no direct benefit for you or your company. Let the client know you care and they too will care. Clients do remember, just how do you want to be remembered?