Welcome to Watchdog’s 30x30 Blog Series
30 Weeks. 30 Blogs. Authored by the best Project Managers in the Industry.
One of the many offerings Watchdog provides to our clients is full-time, on-site project management. During my four years as a Watchdog PM, I have had the unique opportunity to work full-time at a client site, and have learned several strategies to becoming ingrained in a client’s distinct culture. By using these tools, I have successfully managed to sustain a long-term professional relationship, as well as developed longstanding personal relationships with a valuable client.
By learning the ways a client prefers to work, a project manager can easily slip into their internal culture. This includes mirroring client work schedules – is your client a typical 9 to 5? Or do they lean more towards flex hours/telework? It is also critical to learn if your client values Skype versus emails, in-person meetings over conference calls, or phone calls versus texts. Through honoring your clients schedule and communication preferences, a project manager will naturally fall into step with their client behaviors and values.
Trust is the most important factor when developing a full-time client relationship, and is absolutely critical in order to maintain customer loyalty. While trust is a value that is earned slowly over time through honest and open communication, there are other surefire ways to ensure your client relies on you as a valued member of their team. By taking a “we/us” versus “you/me” approach, a PM implies that everyone is working together towards a common goal instead of pushing responsibilities to another party. Another trust building tactic is asking your client genuine questions about their lives outside of work, therefore developing another layer of the client relationship. By winning a client’s trust through honesty, teamwork, and relationship building, a PM can easily become ingrained in a client’s company culture.
-Danielle Graham, Project Manager with Watchdog Real Estate Project Management