Yesterday, my coach, Rich, called me with only one purpose. He wanted to tell me that I was doing well! We didn’t have a scheduled appointment.
This marked the third time in our working relationship that Rich had called me simply to say “Great job!” or to offer his help.
I’m telling you about his call because that’s what clients do when you’ve served them spectacularly, or when you’ve surprised and delighted them. Each positive contact increases the chances that a client will tell someone about your effort, and the more delightful that effort is, the more people to whom a client is likely to mention it.
The time you expend is negligible. Make a simple phone call just to say, “I was thinking about you today and wondering how you’re doing.” Or, “I’m wondering if there’s any way I can serve you better.” Or, “I was wondering if I’m giving you all the support you need. Is there anything more I can do for you now, or in the future?” Send clients articles you come across that have personal significance to them or their situations. Call on their birthdays, instead of just sending cards.
What you do also doesn’t have to cost any great amount of money. A couple of summers ago, my wife and I were walking along the beach when I happened to spy a white golf ball rolling in the surf at the edge of the water. When I picked it up, I saw that it was imprinted with the name of a cruise line. I remembered that I had a client whose 10-year old son had a collection of golf balls, so I packed this one up that night and sent it to her. The gesture cost me nothing more than small packaging and postage, but it surprised and delighted both the client and her son. Do you think she might have told some of the people in her life what I’d done?
There are two elements to successful relationship-building with clients:
(1) The number of contacts you make with them (I call these “Moments of Truth”), and
(2) How “magical” each of those contacts is.
You asked your client to drop by your office to sign a document after picking up her six-year-old son from school, and while you’re meeting with the client, you pull out a Spiderman (his favorite) coloring book and crayons for him to play with. Will the client mention you when she’s with her friends later that evening?
Find a comfortable way to create Moments of Truth and make them magical. Just before Thanksgiving last November, I suggested to two of my clients that they pick up pies from a local pie shop and deliver them to their favorite clients.
One reported back to me that the whole process was sort of awkward: “They didn’t understand why I was delivering pies; they thought I was there for an appointment.”
The other told me this: “Sandy, the first person I gave a pie to was so delighted that he told me we definitely need to sit down in January and talk about applying for more insurance.”
Find a way to surprise and delight that pleases both you and your clients. When you do, you’ll find that you’re on your way to better relationships with them—and that they are telling everyone they know how great it is to work with you.
If you’d like to learn more about how to build your business through your best clients, contact me today. In the meantime, keep REACHING…