Keeping your word and following up when you say you will, builds your credibility as a professional.
Great relationship marketers make notes and have electronic reminders to ensure they give the people they serve the best possible care possible. This means making notes at a tradeshow and then sending yourself a reminder to follow up. It means blocking time off the day you return from an event and make the day dedicated to phone calls, personal notes or proposals.
By pre-planning brochures or media kits to send a client you have promised builds a sense of comfort with your prospect. I can’t tell you how many shows I’ve attended and the exhibitor promised a follow up and never followed through. Immediately my view of this individual changes and it affects our future dealings.
If on the other hand I meet with someone at a networking function, tradeshow or business meeting and they promise to follow up with specific information and actually do, this puts a deposit in the relationship bank. I view this person as a professional and accountable business partner. Great relationship marketers call when they say they will, arrive on time for meetings and follow up promptly.
Great follow up isn’t limited to the first contact after meeting someone. Relationships are built on consistency which breeds familiarity and comfort thus developing a trustworthy bond.
It’s important to follow up with prospects, and more importantly – existing clients. Many people forget about existing clients once the sale is made.
Here are 4 great ways you can stay in touch with clients so that they know you care about their wellbeing and success well after the transaction.
1. Personal call – follow up one month or six months down the road to ensure that your client is experiencing the benefits you promised. Without this call you may never hear about any challenges the client is having which may result in a lost relationship in the future.
2. Personal note – send a past patronage card to thank them for their previous business. Imagine your car salesman sent you a note one year in to your purchase thanking you for your business! How would you feel about this person? Would you be more likely to tell others about his or her professionalism? This is a great way to position yourself during a time when your services are not top-of-mind with your clients. You remain on their radar so when a friend or family member mentions the need for a new vehicle they immediately think of you.
3. Unsolicited proposal – see a new product or opportunity that your client might benefit from? Perhaps there’s a special on an existing product or service that they’ve used in the past, send them the information so they know you’re thinking of them. Your clients will appreciate that you went out of your way to inform them.
4. Article of Interest – send an electronic or physical copy of an article you find that may benefit or interest your client, member or donor. Did they mention that they are gluten free? Perhaps send them a link to a recipe for gluten-free cupcakes. I had lunch with a financial advisor once who did this and I was floored. Clearly she paid attention to my menu selection and then followed up by email with a website link! I was impressed and did it cost her anything to do? No. Did it make a lasting impression? Absolutely!
Follow up can be done in many different ways. The key is to do so when you promise that you will and then surprise clients, members and donors with unexpected acts of thoughtfulness to enhance the relationship.