help clients (Photo credit: shankargallery)
In real life, are you the type that remembers birthdays, anniversaries and most other special events, and calls, or sends out cards or gifts? Good for you.
But how about in your business life? How often do you make contact with current clients and prospects that are not just the expected occasions, the expensive business dinners, the tickets for games or shows?
“Touching” your clients and prospects is a great way to develop and maintain relationships, and it couldn’t be more appreciated. Or easier. Or more effective.
Your calendar or database can easily provide the basic information. Birthday, anniversary (the anniversary of the start of your business relationship, not their wedding anniversary, unless you are really good friends), or even just, “Thanks for the order.”
But the real value is less with the expected contacts that the unexpected ones. The ones that really demonstrate your interest in, and appreciation for, his business. The best mail, email or simple phone call you can make is the one you make for no reason at all. The “Hi, I don’t want anything, I am not trying to sell you anything, just saying hello,” conversation.
Another great way to help build your relationship is by providing information. I don’t mean sending your latest ad, or price sheet of press kit. I mean that when you come across an article in a trade journal or magazine or blog or newspaper, send it, or the link, along with a simple “Thought you might find this interesting.”
And don’t assume that they have already seen the information. I am constantly surprised when I send along some piece that I just know my client must have seen, how many times they have somehow missed it.
Another benefit to reaching out this way is that when you make a call, your client doesn’t automatically think, “OK, what is he t trying to sell me now,” and automatically go into the “I ain’t buying” mode.
Now, the cynics amongst us will think this is all self-serving and transparent to your client, who knows exactly what you are trying to do, which is to deepen a relationship and hope that it leads to more business. Well, maybe. But it’s better than the alternative.
Not surprisingly, as you develop the habit of thinking about your client more often, you will think of different and innovative ways to help them.
Got the idea?