What Kind of Impression Have You Left After the Deal Has Closed; Did You Build a Lasting Relationship?
By Gloria Schmitt
Recently I taught a class to both newly licensed, as well as, experienced associates in my market center entitled going from Chaos to Productivity. While interacting and listening to the associates during the class, it struck me that as salespeople we are very passionate about exceeding our client’s expectations by continually putting the customer first and coming from a place of contribution; always operating with honesty and integrity, demonstrating effective communication and coordination throughout the entire process. With that being said, we falter when it comes to relationship management long after the transaction has closed. So why do we allow relationships to unnecessarily end when subconsciously we know that relationships are vital to the success of our business? Three excuses (yes I said excuses) immediately came to mind: time management, inefficient contract database management and finally, just simply not knowing what to say when you make that call.
The recipe for relationship management is quite simple – BE PRESENT, LISTEN, BE SUPPORTIVE and regularly find ways to continue to show your value. So, if you have in fact lost contact with former clients, colleagues or friends pick up the phone and make that first call. I assure you the reaction you may be anticipating is far more dramatic in your head then the reality. Apologize for losing touch and promise to never let it happen again. Thereafter, there are literally dozens of ways you can stay connected, you just need to create a plan of action and stick to it!
When it comes to past clients, you don’t want to be overbearing with your communications, but you do want to stay connected. You should be having a conversation (or preferably a face to face meeting) four times a year. Invite them for coffee and rediscover what is happening in their lives and follow up with a handwritten note thanking them for taking the time to meet and acknowledge a detail from the conversation. Throughout the year send cards or notes to help celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments but always remember to BE GENUINE with your thoughts and words.
With 1.87 billion Facebook users, 600 million on Instagram, 317,000 million on twitter and 300,000 million on Snapchat (Statista, 2017) you can easily stay connected with a simple post, comment or a like. Posts can be both personal and professional in nature so BE CREATIVE so that you can be noticed – convey some good news about your business, the community you service or the market in general.
Host an annual gathering – it does not take a big budget to show you care just a big heart. Inviting someone to your home (or into your life) is further evidence you think they are special and you value the relationship. Be purposeful about your guest list, keep it intimate and remember it never hurts to send your guests home with a small but considerate token of your appreciation for attending and to remind them of the evening.
Don’t wait – take action today, reconnect and start building relationships that matter! I love the Winston Churchill quote “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give”. Enjoy life; give back more than you get and your business will flourish.