Client Management Skills: Definition, Analysis And Tips

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Client management professionals are responsible for improving customer experience and strengthening the relationship between a business and its clients. They require a combination of soft and hard skills to perform this responsibility efficiently. Learning about different client management qualities can make it easier for you to handle clients and contribute to your success as a client manager. In this article, we define client management skills, discuss nine key client management abilities and share some tips that can help you manage your clients better.

What are client management skills?

Client management skills are qualities that enable client managers to coordinate, manage and oversee a company's interactions with potential and existing clients. These skills are valuable in many roles, including:

  • Operations Supervisor

  • Group HR Administrator

  • Lead Recruiter

  • Account Executive

  • Account Manager

  • Project Manager

  • Senior Communications Advisor

  • Consultant and Freelancer

These qualities are essentially people management skills in a professional business setting that involves mutual compromise. If a client manager can foster strong relationships with existing clients, they can become lifelong customers who are likely to make ongoing or frequent purchases of the company's products and services. If client managers acquire new clients, they further contribute to the company's revenue growth.

Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master

9 Client management skills

Here are nine important skills along with explanations of how you can use them to manage clients:

1. Confidence

Self-confidence is an outlook on your skills and abilities that shows you accept and trust yourself and have a sense of control over what you are doing. When you exude confidence in client meetings, you show knowledge of the product and organisation, faith in your abilities and self-respect. This attitude can help you excel when you work with a variety of clients who are not yet sure of your expertise.

Confidence is also extremely crucial when acquiring new clients, as they need the maximum convincing. Show your confidence and allow clients to see how passionate you are about selling your specific product or service. Use an upbeat, confident attitude while conversing with your clients to convey a positive, reliable message. This can help you build rapport and create lasting relationships.

2. Attention to detail

Displaying attention to detail is the ability to accomplish a task while demonstrating a thorough concern for all the areas involved, no matter how small they might be. A detail-oriented and attentive outlook is valuable when you are discussing client goals and creating strategies to meet those goals. This involves understanding what the client is truly seeking, what their requirements are and how their products, services and business processes function. You may ask meaningful questions to understand the client's specific needs and note important points. Paying close attention to the details conveys your enthusiasm and diligence.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition And Examples

3. Honesty and trustworthiness

Honesty is being sincere and truthful while adhering to a strict ethical code. Being honest is the first step to gaining your client's trust in you and the company. If a client feels that you are being dishonest or altering the truth, they may not buy from you. If you seem honest and trustworthy, they can be confident in the product or service they are purchasing. The best ways to prove reliability are managing client expectations and delivering what you promise. This may also help them trust you and promote repeat business.

Related: Business Ethics: Definition, Principles And Importance

4. Negotiation

Negotiation is a dialogue intended to reach a beneficial outcome over an issue between two or more parties that is satisfactory to all. When there is a disagreement between the company and the client (in terms of strategy implementation, deliverables, pricing or deadlines), you can use your negotiation skills to come to a mutual compromise. This ensures that both parties settle on an amicable decision. Negotiation is invaluable for building and maintaining good client relationships.

Related: Negotiation Skills: Definitions, Benefits And Examples

5. Organisation

Organisation helps you stay focused on different tasks and use your time, energy and mental capacity effectively and efficiently to achieve the desired outcome. Perfecting this skill may include staying on task, using your time productively and following through with commitments. When you encounter a change in priorities, it is essential to switch tasks in an organised manner. You can also remain organised by finishing all tasks in client projects correctly and within deadlines. Being accurate and well-organised can help you succeed as a client manager.

6. Patience

Patience is the capacity to handle or tolerate any delays or problems without getting angry or upset. Clients may not understand the business strategies and policies of the company as clearly as you do. A key to client management is remaining patient with clients when they ask multiple questions or demand explanations on topics that may seem obvious to you. Staying calm proves useful when dealing with any payment or communication issues as well. The more calmly and professionally you can manage clients, the more likely you are to retain them.

7. Communication

Communication is the act of transferring information between people through speech or in writing. It is a core client management skill that is necessary for managing client expectations, keeping them updated on progress, discussing strategies and exchanging any important information. Being competent in both written and oral grammar skills proves useful when communicating with clients throughout the sales journey. You can foster the client's respect and appreciation and improve the chance of them becoming repeat customers by keeping communication open.

8. Problem-solving

Problem-solving comprises of using generic or impromptu methods in an orderly manner to find solutions to difficulties. Issues may arise at any time when dealing with a client, like problems within the project or even the client themselves. Problem-solving skills can help you identify those areas, come up with effective solutions and show the client that you know how to resolve any concern that may arise. Learning to overcome new challenges while recognising others' perspective is a skill that proves capability and earns respect.

Read more: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions And Examples

9. Risk management

Risk management means staying informed and mindful of potential risks, knowing the possible consequences of those risks and creating contingency plans to avoid the problem or overcome it. Possessing risk management skills is essential as challenges can appear at any moment in a client project. Knowing how to predict and handle them affects your reputation and builds the trust the client has developed with you. You can remain in control with risk management skills and create positive outcomes in projects despite adversities. These skills develop with experience.

Tips to better manage your clients

Follow these tips to improve your relationship with clients and manage them better:

  • Educate and involve the client. Before getting started, involve the client in the goal-setting process. You can mutually agree on important decisions. Educate them about changes in the business, new trends in their industry and strategies you are going to implement to meet their goals.

  • Provide regular progress updates. Send weekly project briefs to clients explaining what you have been working on so they understand how you are using your time and what challenges you might be facing. This boosts their confidence in you and helps ease their fears and doubts.

  • Respond quickly. Decrease response time and provide fast results. This may include calling back your clients right away, finding the products they desire to purchase or making sure to deliver ordered items within the deadline.

  • Know each client's unique needs. Familiarise yourself with the client's industry, niche, business process, products and services, business goals and strategies. This helps you earn your clients' trust and respect and prepares you to serve their needs.

  • Prioritise client satisfaction. Make sure to deliver what you promised to meet your client's goals. Client satisfaction also depends on making it easy for them to communicate and work with you in an overall pleasant and professional experience.

  • Practise honest communication. If you cannot reach a deadline because of an unexpected setback, be clear about it with your clients. If you make a mistake, let them know and explain how you are going to fix it.

  • Treat each client with equal respect. Treat old clients with the same enthusiasm and respect as new clients. Try to impress them and earn their respect, no matter how long you have been working together or barring the size of the client in terms of revenue.

  • Celebrate small successes. When something goes well in a client's project, offer specific details of the accomplishment, even if it is not the big goal you are ultimately trying to achieve. This boosts the client's morale, assures them that they are on the right track and increases their satisfaction with you.

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