Many people believe that keeping in touch effectively may be the most important marketing strategy for generating a continuous flow of new business.
By way of clarification, keeping in touch is the practice of maintaining contact with those people with whom you have an existing relationship.
This would include any or all of:
- family and friends
- network contacts and connections
- existing and past clients
More Repeat And Referral Business
In addition to hiring us again, our clients, both past and present, also represent the most obvious and important source of referrals.
Initially, as prospects your clients liked you. In fact they liked you well enough to do business with you.
Remember the old saying: ‘If I like you I might do business with you; if I don’t, I won’t’
They also trusted you enough to hire you and allow you to help them. They hired you and you helped satisfy their needs and wants.
Unfortunately, repeat business and referrals do not just happen. They are the benefits of maintaining ongoing relationships – or keeping in touch – with clients.
Satisfied clients are usually happy to refer friends, family and others to professionals who serve them well.
In most cases, you only need to make the appropriate request and you will receive high-potential pre-screened leads.
In all likelihood, your clients will only make referrals that they expect will result in successful relationships between you and the people they are referring.
Few people will deliberately make potentially problematic referrals, especially if the referral could jeopardize existing relationships.
By keeping in touch with clients using the techniques described below, you can remind clients of the service they received.
As a result, the clients will most likely remember you and want your help again. Similarly, reminded of the help they received from you, clients will be willing to recommend you and refer others to you.
Keeping in touch too frequently is almost as bad as failing to keep in touch. If your clients see you as spending more time and effort keeping in touch than looking after clients, they will wonder how busy and successful you really are.
To eliminate this possibility, limit your visible keeping-in-touch activities.
Resist the temptation to do mass mailings or E-mail messages daily or weekly. If you send too much too often, your contacts are likely to ignore it all.
Send customized messages as the situation warrants. Use your own discretion in deciding when to send out customized messages. We all suffer from information overload so remember that occasional is usually more effective than frequent.
Unless you are in the special-event business, two events per year will be adequate to keep in touch. Also make sure that your gifts match the occasion; too little or too much can be equally problematic.
On-going advertising can be a very effective way of keeping your name before your contacts.
Choose the medium that will reach your contacts. Media advertising can be very expensive so do not waste your dollars on trying to keep in touch with people whom you do not know and vice versa.
How To Keep In Touch
You really only need a few of these techniques. Pick the ones that work best for you, your services and your clients.
If you don’t know which techniques to use…or how often to keep in touch for that matter … ask your clients. In and of itself, asking clients for their opinions represents an ideal tool for keeping in touch. Among other benefits, it lets clients know that you value their opinions.
To learn more about keeping in touch see The Essential Actions For Service Professionals To Generate More New Business.