There are a number of realms to project management: risk management and response, budget management, leadership, talent and resource recruiting, resource management, communication, task management and organization, just to name a few.

However, an additional area of project that doesn’t get much attention is customer and account relationships, which can be a full time job in itself. The truth is customer and account relationships are the key to any successful organization and project. And this goes beyond managing project specifications, expectations, and deliverables, and even gathering requirements; it also is tied into the lifelong value and trust that goes into

But, before we get too “salesy” here, don’t panic. Most project managers get a little nervous and anxious about crossing from project management into the “sales” territory. But, there is a big difference between establishing, developing, and maintaining client relationships and being too “in your face” sales, which doesn’t work in today’s business world. Today it’s about personalization, individualization, and about offering and providing a valuable product or service.

Here are some ways project managers, team members, and even entrepreneurs can maintain and keep up customer relationships, without the “sales”.

Consistency. Customers like consistency. Consistency is what builds trust and loyalty. Consistency could mean consistence in communication such as calls, emails, and visits to check in, or even consistency related to a product or service. How is the product or service working for a particular customer? Are there challenges that need to be addressed? How can you provide solutions?

Communication. Communication is huge. In the world of sales, one great piece of advice is that customer relationships are often like, well, a relationship, where communication is of the utmost importance. Keeping open, clear, and consistent communication will keep customers happy and relationships strong.

Consensus. Another way to maintain customer relationships is by consensus. Consensus relates to case studies, project histories, success stories, or any form of data that proves your organization’s performance metrics. But even throwing a bunch of numbers and charts in a customer’s face isn’t always the answer. Customers want to know what your team can do for them that is unique and that will help them to achieve their goals.

Connection. Making a connection with customers should obviously be the number one priority. After all, you can’t maintain or even develop a relationship without first establishing some form of connection. But, that connection doesn’t always have to relate to business relationship, it can also relate to value. What connection does a particular customer have to a product or service? How does it help them achieve their goals? What is their connection to value?

About the Author