The importance of developing relationships with your clients
We all know that “client relationship is at the heart of our business success”, that “what the potential client buys is us” or that “it’s not B2B (business-to-business), nor B2C (business-to-consumer), it’s H2H (human-to-human)”.
These are beautiful statements that I personally make at conferences, because they are true.
Now in “real life”, in our everyday reality, how can we easily and simply deepen the relationship with our clients?
I say easily and simply, because there are lots of interesting relationship marketing strategies to deepen the relationship with your clients:
- Offer them gifts;
- Invite them to an event (organized by you or one you’re attending);
- Set up an advisory committee with some of our clients;
- Invite them to a restaurant to share a good meal.
These ideas are all good and they can be part of a communication strategy. Today, however, I’d like to talk to you about a very simple strategy AND one that has a great impact: the ‘hello@mail’.
Because solid relationships are built on the frequency of our interactions, not on their duration.
Let’s take an example. Let’s say you spend 90 minutes a year with two clients.
Client X: one 90-minute meeting per year.
Client Y: one 45-minute annual meeting, followed by a 30-minute call a few months later and a few voice mails here and there.
(I know you don’t calculate your time per minute like that, but play along!)
Which client will you have a stronger, more lasting relationship with? Client Y of course.
It’s like the actors and actresses we feel we know because we see them on TV every Friday!
The ‘hello@mail’ strategy is simple: include in your service plan – or in your weekly planning, a touch point with your clients, this communication is designed to nurture the relationship – to say “hello” to your clients (hence the name ‘hello@mail’!).
Why do you want to you add it to your service plan, your contact management system or in your weekly planning? Simple, if it’s not in your calendar, you will forget. Life goes fast, we’re busy and it’s impossible to think about all your clients all the time, and as the saying goes “out of sight, out of mind”.
The brain likes concrete actions in order to act, here are a few ideas to start your ‘hello@mail’ with your clients (and potential clients too!)
- Reach out to the them stating you just wanted to say hello and see how they were doing;
- Ask about the progress of one of their current projects;
- Share with them an interesting article that made you think of them.
Building strong human relationships doesn’t require big actions, on the opposite, it requires small, targeted, and personalized gestures.
A little “hello” shows your clients that you’re thinking of them, that you care about them, that this relationship is important to you.
It’s the best client loyalty strategy.
It’s the best client referral strategy.
It’s the best business development strategy.
So don’t hesitate to say hello regularly!
…because so much more is possible…
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