Asking for a raise or a month’s worth of leaves is already nerve-wracking to think about, much more if you’re going to do it online. Although these matters are very important for online workers to discuss with their client, nervousness and fear of rejection can sometimes really get the best of us.
This holds true especially for a lot of Filipino online workers who are shy when approaching clients. But shyness is something every online worker should overcome, particularly because of their unique remote set-up.
Despite being online workers, it is also part of our responsibility to reach out and build rapport with our clients. There should be effort on our part too, and this helps us open up especially when important and serious matters arise.
If you still can’t be assertive, and nerves are getting in the way, here are some tips to help you be more open to your client and begin building a great working relationship - even if you’re doing it over the Internet.
Sometimes, Filipinos have a tendency to fear their superiors and this goes true with online workers as well. How many of us still get nervous when we need to talk to our client, or to simply ask a question?
Even if they’re your boss, remember they're still human too! So, don’t be afraid of approaching them because they won’t bite! They may be intimidating, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to them like any other person. Ask when they’re available and schedule meetings, or short discussions as you would normally do.
You don’t need to be super close to your client right away, or be connected on a deeply personal level. But that’s all up to you, if that’s what you want your working relationship to be. And if not, it still pays to be personable and friendly.
You can start your daily emails with asking how their day or week went, greeting them on special occasions like birthdays and holidays. You can also share some hobbies you may have, or if you come across something funny and interesting. Allowing your client to see who you are outside of work is a great start to building a great working relationship.
When it comes to opening up about serious, important issues, it pays to be direct with your client. Remember, clients are busy, so they would appreciate if you go straight to the point. Don’t beat around the bush especially, if it’s a matter that concerns the company.
In this way, your client can assess the situation and quickly find an answer or solution to your concern.
Discussing pretty serious matters with your client can be such a nerve-wracking experience. So, when the time comes that you have been called to do so, remember that preparation is key. Write down key points, highlight which ones you need to bring up first and memorize them. If needed, you can create a presentation to help support your points and make things clear and concise for your client.
In all this, make sure that your connectivity is stable, most especially when you’re opening up to your client. You wouldn’t want to be cut off when you’re saying something important, or have your message be taken the wrong way just because of your crappy connection.
Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your client is a great foundation to building rapport and a solid working relationship. You don’t need to be each other’s best friends right away, but you reap more benefits from slowly opening up to them rather than keeping up that wall in between you.