How Can I TurboCharge my Relationships my Current Clients?

The hardest thing that we do is to get the attention of the client in the first place.” Chet Holmes

Oh man, was he right!

Once, we have that attention, it is our responsibility to make sure that we make the most of it and don’t let the client ‘cool off’.

Remember, if you are out of your client’s sight, then you are also out of their mind. Rapport building is as important before the sale, as it is after the sale.

Obviously, before making the sale you need to work on building the relationships with your clients. However, we often forget that the sale is the beginning of a different long-term relationship with our clients.

This is because we are often too focused on getting the next sale, and so we put too much effort into building relationships with new clients and don’t focus as much as we should do on the relationships with our current client.

We may spend a lot of money, time, effort, and energy taking potential clients to dinners, lunches, and coffees. Some people even take potential clients for breakfasts.

Whist these are all noble acts for a worthy cause of getting to know, building rapport and investing in building a relationship with new clients, we also need to have follow-up procedures to ensure that we are not ignoring our current clients.

The focus of the follow-up is to make the client feel involved, respected, and appreciated. As with the sales and marketing strategies, the follow-up should also be client focused. This is to say that it should hold value for the client.

Following-up with clients in a way that is not valuable to them is disrespectful and a waste of their time.

These follow-ups don’t have to be anything too extravagant, like a family trip to Bali, although if you can afford it then I won’t hold you back.

These follow-ups could be as simple as inviting your clients to attend your company conference, sending them invites to trade shows and award ceremonies, organising ongoing trainings, sending them gifts on special occasions and holidays, sending personal cards and hand written notes on their celebrations and the celebrations of their loved ones, sending ‘Thank You’ cards and letters after important meetings, offering ongoing educational seminars, inviting them to be a part of a client focus group, arranging networking opportunities between your current clients, sharing with them the latest industry research and articles that might be relevant to them etc.

If you are a solopreneur like a fitness trainer, life coach or a bookkeeper, you can always downscale some of these follow-ups. In a way, being a solopreneur allows you more opportunities to be more involved in the lives of your clients as you probably work very closely with them. You might get invited to their birthday party and you can always invite them for dinner at your home.

For brick-and-mortar businesses like restaurants, hair salons and cafes, you can hold quarterly Client Appreciation Evenings and organise a special Black-Tie affair. You can also offer to interview your clients live at the event and offer to promote them on your website and social media and write articles about their lives.

The possibilities are endless. A little bit of effort in this area can go a long way.

Ideally, you want to befriend your clients. If you play it right, you can reach a level where your clients would feel like they are betraying you if they go with one of your competitors, even if your competitors are offering a better price.

To get to that level, you need to prove to your current clients that you are serious about investing in the relationship and offer them long-term value by constantly finding ways to serve them.

Did you know that 68% of customers don’t come back because of indifference — they think you don’t care!

One of my very good friends, Janice Porter, has a business called ‘SendOutCards’, where you can build custom card campaigns to show your customers you care, consistently, for very little time or money. The campaigns can be automated so you can stay focused on growing your business.

Janice has sent me several of these cards, one thanking me for being a guest on her podcast, one for a post about a special memory that I experienced with a friend, and one congratulating me on the launch of my book. Each card was highly personalised with photos from my social media accounts and had a special message included from Janice. I absolutely love them, and I always get excited when I see another one in the post.

This is an excellent example of just a small investment that leads to a massive gesture towards building relationships on autopilot.

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