The key to long-term success in any business is relationships.
When your customers know, like, and trust you, they’re going to see you as the go-to professional in your field. And that means they’re going to reward you with repeat business, as well as plenty of valuable referrals.
Looking for some new, unconventional ways to keep in touch with your clients? Try these six outside-the-box techniques and see the effect they have on your business.
Find a workout buddy.
One of the best ways to stay connected with anyone is by taking part in shared interests.
Many of your clients are passionate about health and fitness, and there are probably several who’d enjoy having someone to share that with. Know someone who likes to run? Ask if you can run with them. Try asking one of your clients who likes yoga if they’d like to take a class with you. Exchange healthy recipes over social media (or send them a copy of Start Healthy magazine).
As you bond with your clients over these common interests, you’re keeping your connections strong while also feeling better physically. That’s a win-win.
Connect on unexpected social media channels.
If you’re proactive about building relationships with your clients, odds are you’re already connected with them on social media. By sharing content, sending messages, and engaging with the people you’ve worked with, you’re reminding them of your value and prolonging good feelings around you and your business.
But while many businesspeople have taken this idea and run with it, there are still some platforms they tend to overlook.
For example, is your client a beer connoisseur? Find them on Untappd and bond over your shared love of tasty brews. Did the couple who you helped buy a home last year profess their love for online gaming? Find them on the Playstation Network or add them as friends on Pokémon Go. If they’re a music lover, find them on Spotify and make them a playlist.
Not sure whether your clients are active on these platforms? Send them a text message and ask. Even if they’re not using these services, you’ve still found an organic opportunity to have a conversation—and that’s never a bad thing.
Send a video message.
You’re probably already using email to keep in touch with your clients (and, if you’re not, you should be). But what are you doing to make sure your messages stand apart?
Video emails are a great tool for creating a strong impression and reminding your clients that you’re a real person who’s actually invested in them. And think about it: isn’t it a lot harder to ignore what someone is saying when you see their face?
If you don’t want to spend money on a video email service, you can attach files to your Gmail account using Google Drive. You can also send videos on Facebook and Instagram. These messages don’t need to be long—the idea is to just check in with your client and let them know you’re thinking of them.
Give birthday presents.
As a rule, your follow-up strategies should be both memorable and affordable—meaning you won’t go broke simply staying in touch with every client. That’s why solutions like a branded magazine from ReminderMedia are so effective.
On the other hand, it’s worth occasionally splurging a little for your most valued clients. This could be something like a nice bottle of wine, tickets to a sporting event, or a gift certificate to a nice restaurant.
Birthdays are a great time to remind your clients that you’re available if they need anything. Cards with handwritten notes go a long way, as do tangible items like a Grateful Box. You could also send a personalized birthday greeting from a celebrity using Cameo.
What you send isn’t as important as the reason you send it. When you go out of your way to show your clients you remember them, they’ll be sure to remember you the next time they know someone looking for your services.
Ask for their advice.
On the surface, this one might sound a little unusual. After all, you’re the professional expert—that’s why your client chooses to work with you.
But let’s face it: you’re definitely not an expert in everything. Think about what your clients do for a living. Is there some professional advice they could give to you? If your client is a plumber and you need a new sink installed, you could choose to work with them. By doing this, you’re triggering the reciprocity effect—the next time this client needs what you sell, it’ll be you who gets the call.
Of course, you don’t have to hire a contractor to seek advice. Here are some other areas where you can seek your clients’ expertise:
- Book, movie, TV, or music recommendations
- What they think about their local school district
- How to get started with a particular hobby
- Recipes for cuisine you know they enjoy
Again, any time you have an excuse to reach out to your clients, that’s a chance for you to deepen connections and keep your business top of mind.
Donate to a charity in your client’s name.
All meaningful relationships are built on trust and appreciation, and the relationships you have with your clients are no exception. Your clients will work with you again and again because they know you have their best interests at heart.
If you’ve got a few dollars to spare, donate to a charity you know your client holds dear. If you’re not sure, ask them. Tell them you’re always looking for causes to support, and, when they tell you which charities they love, record the names of those organizations in your CRM.
The next time a client gives you a referral, make a donation to their favorite charity in their name. Then, reach out and let them know that you did. Tell them how much you appreciated the referral, and you wanted to show your appreciation by giving to a cause they support.
Not only are you doing a good thing by giving to a charitable cause, you’re also taking your relationship with this client to the next level. Through this one act, you’re letting them know that when they give you a referral, you’ll do something for them in return—that is very powerful.
Whichever methods you choose for following up, the idea is to do so consistently. When you only have one or two touchpoints with each client per year, it’s far more likely that you’ll be forgotten. But, by touching base more regularly, you’re showing your commitment to them on a human level.