How effective are you at maintaining client relationships? Do you stay in touch with them or do you lose the relationship over time? Do your clients and prospects respond to your messages or do your emails end up in a black hole? Here’s a simple tip for maintaining contact with your clients and prospects.
Client relationships are the lifeblood of any business. Be deliberate about maintaining them. Regular contact will keep you top of mind.
Find meaningful “excuses” to reach out to them. Some of my favorites include “Hey I read an article and I thought of you” or “I heard about a cool new technology and I thought you might be interested in it.” Send these notes and leave it at that. Don’t try and sell during those interactions. They know you eventually want to sell them something. Beware of excessive contact, they’re going to ignore you or block you if you’re in their inbox too much. Focus on being helpful and good things are going to come.
I have one client who I’ve had a great relationship with over the years. Every once in awhile I’ll see something that I think would be interesting to him and I drop him a note and I said “I read this and I thought of you.” He always writes back and says “Thanks for the information. Interesting. I appreciate it… not that you’re trying to sell me something.” This has become a running joke with us that at the end of every interaction one of us says “not that you’re trying to sell me something.” He understands the nature of the relationship because he is a great salesman too. He and I both know the deal but he doesn’t mind my outreach. He actually welcomes it because he knows I’m trying to be helpful. These interactions help me stay top of mind, so anytime he has a need that my firm can fill, he’s going to call me first.
Some reasons you might wanna reach out to connect with your clients and prospects include things like:
- You know a candidate who might be a great fit for their organization
- You read an article about a topic they’re interested in
- You found a solution to a problem you know they’ve been working on
- You have a new service offering and they might be interested in it
I tend to stay away from personal stuff in terms of reaching out. Things like anniversaries or kids’ birthdays can get a little bit tricky. It can get very awkward if you congratulate somebody on their anniversary only to find out that they were recently divorced . Yeah. That won’t go well. Try to keep your outreach focused on professional topics. Articles about topics they might find interesting, new technologies, or new books you’ve read are all perfect excuses to reach out to a client and reestablish your relationship with them.
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