As a business owner, I try very hard to build strong relationships with clients, prospects, suppliers, partners and other business colleagues. I also invest a lot of time in making sure I maintain regular contact with them. This is for three main reasons as they are more likely to:
- Provide us with repeat business
- Refer our services to us to other people
- Write some great reviews about our work
Helpful and relevant
But how do you stay in touch with past and existing customers without being too pushy? You don’t want to be annoying or overly salesy and put people off by your constant chatter. I believe that to create genuine and meaningful relationships, you need to provide something that is helpful and relevant in a friendly and honest manner. That way your brand stays in their minds and in their line of sight, so when the time comes and they need your services, they will get in contact.
Sounds simple but how do you achieve it?
I use several different methods to keep in touch. To me, it’s about making sure we have a well-thought out and balanced process, which doesn’t bombard people with too much information in a short space of time. I also recommend that you use your CRM system, emailing software and automation methods to help you to achieve your goals. But whatever you do, and how you do it, remember to keep it personalised and as tailored to meet their own preferences and interests as you can.
Some of Pixooma’s preferred methods are shown below:
- Have an up to date database where you can record as much information as you can – birthdays, special dates, likes/dislikes, hobbies and interests then use that intelligence wisely
- Follow up immediately after a project has ended and then again in set time periods, whether that be three months, six months or annually
- Schedule in regular catch up calls, because let’s face it, it’s good to talk
- Arrange to meet up for coffee and a catch-up, not to necessarily discuss work but to get to know them better on a more casual and relaxed footing
- Invite them to events, including networking, where you feel it’s appropriate
- Connect with them on social media channels and other platforms
- Write regular blogs and refer to their businesses about what you have done for them
- Share it online so they can see how you value them as a client/contact
- Ask them for a testimonial, case study, online review or a referral
- Send them a thank you card for repeat business, referrals and testimonials
- Dispatch cards to mark their birthday, anniversaries or special business occasion
- Encourage them to sign up for regular communications – newsletter and emailings about specific topics, offers etc.
- Share news/articles/reports that made you think about them. We use RSS feeds to help us with this
- Tag them into social media updates where relevant
- Comment on their blogs, articles and social media communications
Obviously, there are lots of ways to keep in touch. But whatever you do, don’t start off by doing lots of things and then in a few months find yourself downsizing your communications because it becomes too much work or slightly overwhelming. My advice is to start off by doing a few things well and above all do them regularly and consistently.
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