Becoming ‘The Client Whisperer’ Vol.1

Throughout every client relationship there are ups and downs. Just like new personal relationships, we have to develop trust and rapport with clients. Navigating these waters is part of the job, but it's not always easy. Working a few key words into your day to day conversations will help to grow and maintain relationships with no extra work or cost on your end.

Here are a few I've always found helpful and easy to remember:


Use this for clarification purposes when you can. i.e. “so your expectation for the final product is…” or “what are you expecting to benefit from this particular feature design?” It keeps things clear, you can ascertain end goals and long term insights to use for better serve your client. It also gives you the ability to ask for the specifics you might not get otherwise. If you fail to deliver after specifying expectations then you've got bigger problems.

“I'm Sorry, let me know how I can help.”

 You can use this sentiment to let your client know that you really are sorry they are upset about something, or that you are sorry their marketing department is giving them a hard time over the copy they want. This is empathy in its most basic form. You can't fix everything for them, but offering to help in any case is the thing to do. It might even lead to more work if they take you up on your offer.

“In other words…”

 Make sure you understand each other. It's bound to happen that you and your client will think about things differently, that's the beauty and complication of business relationships, but don't let that hinder your communication. Use analogies or your own version of the issue to double check the intention of the conversation or the client's request.


Clients will feel what you feel. If you don't tell them anything then they won't have any particular feelings about you or your work, which is bad. Use words that solidify their choice to hire you. “I'm confident this will result in better sales.” “I'm confident you will really like this design.” This sets the tone that you have done your homework and are prepared to deliver what they asked. At the end of the day they will remember you as a solid piece of their business network and in turn have confidence in you as well.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are plenty of words or phrases you can work into your day-to-day that will create sound client relationships without any work. Creating these solid relationships will give you the rapport you need to approach them about difficult subjects, disagree with them in a professional manner, and all around give them better work.

What are other terms and words have you found helpful in your practice? I'd love to hear them and share the most popular in a later post!

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Kimberly Lipari

Kimberly is the co-founder of WP Valet. Her daily job revolves around business strategy and operations for their growing agency of managed support, custom development, and tailored migration services. She is also a mother to three beautiful daughters and loves the WP community.

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