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Are you hungry enough?

As the depth and length of the economic downturn intensifies more clients are coming under pressure from their management boards to deliver results – this in turn leads to greater expectations from you as a service provider.

However in times like these, clients question if their service providers are hungry enough for their business – citing lack of regular communication, passion, desperation and proactive innovation as concerns.

At a time when business is hard keep or come by due to budget cutbacks when entrepreneurial spirit, passion and enthusiasm is the order of the day such revealing client feedback is often surprising.

Unfortunately, such feedback is not out-of-the-ordinary during a financial squeeze when your own business is under pressure with reduced resource. We are all asked to do more and in the rush of completing workloads on a daily basis the basics of business protection and development are often push aside for more pressing deadlines.

But, let’s not forget. Great client service and client development is built on strong communication and ambition. In the business-to-business market environment we all need to think creatively about how we deliver services to our clients. In particular we need to move from a short term view where we look to just the present or next instruction, instead the key to success is taking a long term view.

At no time in all our careers is this more important than at present when a profound recession, the likes not seen since the Great Depression, is looming on the horizon.

In a difficult market environment a few simple tips can help you to stay ahead of the game and secure your client relationships and business for the long term.

Business Protection and Development Top Tips

  1. Keep in regular contact with your client – be seen, be heard, update and get close.

  2. Stay positive and proactive; clients won’t criticise you for trying.

  3. In such a tight market think creatively about how you deliver your service.

  4. Use the power of your network of contacts to your advantage.

• Share best practice with your colleagues: what has worked well for their own business.

• Share contacts and leads: you’ll be surprised who your colleagues might know or already work with.

• Colleagues may have a strong track record in a sector that you don’t have expertise. If appropriate, draw on their resource and experience to help you meet your clients’ needs.

Sandy Townsend is a director and head of marketing and PR at national property consultancy, Lambert Smith Hampton.