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Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®

Victoria Munro and Dave Block of Make-it-FlyClients are “the Heart of Your Business” –
Make Sure You Connect with Them
Part Two of a Two-Part Series

By Dave Block and Victoria Munro

Printable version

Studies show that the majority of customers leave not because of problems with services or products, but because of perceived indifference. They just don’t feel valued or appreciated. If you want to keep your clients and turn them into raving fans, you need to make sure they know you care about and appreciate them!

You’re probably not looking for yet another project to pack into your already overloaded schedule, but establishing a plan to nurture your current clients could easily prove to be your most cost-effective marketing strategy. To use your time efficiently, create a regular monthly plan to keep in touch with clients, and automate recurring reminders to follow up. If you don’t already have contact resource management software (CRM), such as ACT!, Gold Mine or Maximizer, consider investing in one.

Employ the Power of Personal Hand-Written Notes

written notes are a meaningful yet inexpensive way to communicate that you really care. Perhaps challenge yourself to consistently write three or five notes every week, and do it without fail! Try writing your notes first thing in the morning before your busy day begins and the phone starts ringing.

Thank your clients often! At every opportunity, express your gratitude. Send notes to thank them for their order, their confidence in you as a professional, a referral they gave, whatever is appropriate. Sincere notes convey your feelings in a powerful way. Melanie Smithson of Smithson Clinic, Inc., went out of her way recently to thank us for a note they received from Dave. “It was such a treat to read his note! It was so personal and that just makes you feel good! Makes you want to go out of your way to help him!”

Note Writing Tips
Be personal – focus on the client and what’s important to them
: their health, their family, their business. Use attractive note cards, not a full-sized sheet of your business stationery. Always address the envelope by hand – don’t you open those first? Consider including your business card.

Additional Ideas on Connecting with Clients

Remember special occasions: birthdays, holidays and anniversaries.
Send letters and emails. Share with them something that will be of genuine value to them.
If you’re in their area, stop by their office, just to ask how they’re doing and if there are any ways you can help.
Call them sometimes without any sales agenda, just to see how they’re doing.
Occasionally, arrange to meet in person. Ask questions and listen. Always give them your undivided attention. Make them feel loved and important.
Introduce them to others who could be of help to them.
Watch for articles, events or books that might be of interest to them, and drop a note and let them know.
Follow up promptly on referrals they give. Thank them and keep them apprised of your progress.
Give them referrals.
Ask for their help.
Host client appreciation events.
Give gifts. No need to spend a fortune – be creative, use your imagination. Perhaps tie the gift into your business or theirs.
Always keep your promises to them! Follow through on what you said you’d do.

And always, always, always be sincere! Be real, authentic and true to who you are.

Your customers really are the heart of your business. Don’t assume they know you appreciate them and their business. Begin now to create your plan to let them know you care!

(588 words)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

Click here for printable version.

About the Authors: Dave Block and Victoria Munro are co-founders of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small business owners through creatively-designed programs and tools. Dave is known as the “Master Networker” in the business community and loves sharing how to become a successful business owner by learning the art of networking. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses.. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at: www.Make-it-Fly.com, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

You’re welcome to “reprint” this article in your ezine, print publication or on your website, as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the “about the author” info at the end). Please send a copy of your reprint to info@make-it-fly.com.


 
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