Developing and managing client relationships are the lifeblood of your business. You’d rather your existing clients continue to buy from you than to have to go out and hunt for new ones. Part of maintaining that relationship involves constant attention on your part.
Here’s how to better connect with clients.
1. Take Them Out to Lunch
Everyone likes a free lunch! Remember that your objective here isn’t to sell, but just to have a relaxing meal (or coffee) with a client. You don’t even have to talk business, but it might be beneficial to you to check in and make sure the client is satisfied with your services. Is there anything you could do to improve?
Bonus Tip: Pay attention to those personal details, like when your client mentions an upcoming anniversary or his kid’s baseball tournament. This is fodder for future conversations. Email a followup note and congratulate him on that anniversary or ask how the game went.
2. Pay Attention to Them on Social
If your clients are active on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, share their content and respond to their updates. Believe me, they’ll notice the attention. Be your customers’ biggest fans by sharing their messages and drawing more followers and website visitors to them.
Bonus Tip: Share your clients’ blog content, if they’ve got it. Leave comments on the posts and share it with your network.
3. Send Gifts
Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries celebrating how long a client has been with you are all great reasons to send a small token of appreciation. For Christmas, I like to send gifts at different price points to reflect how long a client has been with me, as well as how much they spend with me. It’s an easy way to put a smile on your client’s face.
Bonus Tip: Use that personal info you glean in those lunch dates to really customize your gifts.
4. Send an “This Made Me Think of You” Email
I’m stealing this idea from a former boss I had, who would mail newspaper clippings to clients that he thought would enjoy reading them. It could be a physical clipping, a website link, or even a funny cartoon. If you find something that you think will resonate with the client, send it.
Bonus Tip: Business books make especially nice gifts, so if you find one that a client would love, send it to him.
5. Throw a Party
Once a year, host a party for your staff and your clients. An open house is another idea. This helps you honor those people that help your business succeed, as well as introduce them to one another. Make connections. Be a referrer. And also offer tasty food and wine!
Bonus Tip: Consider holding regular events as a way to attract more of your client base to your office or location.
You don’t have to spend dozens of hours each week maintaining your client relationships, but a little effort goes a long way.