Back Forward Index Search History Bookmarks Notes Logout Help Settings Add Note Add Bkmk Print
Building Brilliant Client Relationships

Topic tour guide

In a hurry? This page will take you through a brief tour of every section in this topic and will enable you to click on a link should you wish to read more.

Contained in this section are lots of tools and ideas to help you build brilliant client relationships.  Building rapport is the foundation of any good relationship so the first section looks at how to build and deepen this with your clients and colleagues.  HR practitioners in our research told us that they knew their clients as well as they knew themselves and so we include some tools for you to explore and measure the quality of your relationship as well as ways to help you understand your clients better.  There will always be a client or colleague that you have a more challenging relationship with; the final section includes support on dealing with more challenging relationships.  

What the research tells us

The group we studied constantly referred to the importance of their relationships and described how they invested heavily in building strength, depth and trust in their relations with others. They did not focus on client relationships alone, but recognised the need for equally strong relationships with colleagues across the HR function. What was also striking about these relationships was that they were not always comfortable, but real, honest and often challenging.  

More...

Building rapport

Building rapport is the foundation of any good relationship so this section looks at how to build and deepen this with your clients and colleagues.

  • Rapport building

Some people seem to be able to effortlessly win others over. Have you ever wondered how they do it?

More...

  • Practice rapport building

This activity helps you to prepare for, and evaluate the depth of, rapport with a customer or colleague.

More...

  • Flow listening

People who listen with care build amazing relationships. This is listening with rapport and with the whole body. This page gives you a way to deepen the level of listening and hence the depth of rapport you have with your client.

More...

  • Effective listening

This checklist evaluates your listening skills and helps to analyse how you can develop and improve them.

More...

  • The power of being curious

Practitioners in our research found that when they were genuinely curious about a client or colleague this helped to build rapport. Asking questions from a place of curiosity rather than personal agenda deepens trust. This page shows how to do this.

More...

  • Questioning skills

Questioning is one of the foundation skills of building relationships. This page gives an introduction to basic questioning skills.

More...

  • Matching styles and interests

This checklist will help you to prepare for a meeting with a client. It is especially helpful with new clients.

More...

  • Empathy activities

Three different activities to explore how empathetic you are.

More...

Knowing your clients like you know yourself

HR Practitioners in our research told us that they knew their clients as well as they knew themselves and so in this section we include some tools for you to explore and measure the quality of your relationship as well as ways to help you understand your clients better.

  • Questionnaire – your client relationship

This questionnaire helps you to evaluate the strength of your relationship with your client.

More...

  • Identifying the client’s hot buttons

All clients have things that are important to them personally and in their business. We usually refer to these as values. People also attach actions or evidence to their values which tell them the value is being met. We call these elements ‘criteria’, or, more commonly, the clients’ ‘hot buttons’. Understanding what these are for your client will substantially improve your relationship.

More...

  • Putting yourself in the client’s shoes

Being able to fully understand the perspective of your client is one of the key skills of successful HR people. This section gives you a way to truly step into the shoes of your client. This activity is best done working with a partner to guide you through the process.

More...

Dealing with challenging relationships

There will always be a client or colleague that you have a more challenging relationship with. The final section includes support on dealing with more challenging relationships.

  • Difficult people

No matter how good your relationship skills become there will be times when you encounter people whom you find difficult to work with or influence.

More...

  • Learning from differences

This section explores how you can think about and constructively use differences amongst people in your client group.

More...

  • Techniques for dealing with a problem

When things aren’t going well the tactics in this section will help you deal with the situation.

More...

  • Negative voices

You may be aware of internal dialogue, the voice inside your head, and how it helps or hinders them. This section will help you identify your internal voice and shift it from a negative to a positive voice.

More...

Quick and easy habits

The more often you practice these skills the more you will embed them until they become a habit. This section gives you a list of quick and easy actions to do this. It includes quick and easy habits to Develop yourself, Ways to use these strengths more and ideas to Build these skills with others.

Other resources

Click here for a list of books and websites for further reading and for a summary of other topics in the Success Kitbag.