How well do you stay in touch with your past customers and clients? I know for me, this is probably the weakest part of my business. Is it due to being an introvert? Is it due to being very busy? Is it due to poor processes in place? In my case, I have a feeling that it is a combination of all 3 reasons.
As an introvert, it doesn’t come naturally to reach out and just “check in” with folks. It isn’t that an introvert doesn’t care about their clients. Quite the opposite. We normally develop strong bonds during the home purchase / selling process. We just don’t have that natural ability to randomly call people whether we know them or not. Small talk isn’t our thing. In some cases, it can even be seen as painful to some folks. So an introvert will slowly drift away from their past clients.
SO DANG BUSY
When we are busy, we tend to forget that we must be in lead generation at all times. Our money comes from what closes in a few months, not what is closing today. What ends up happening is, we are in firefighting mode when busy and tend to focus on the right now, what needs my immediate attention. Sitting down reaching out to folks, usually isn’t on that list.
POOR FOLLOW UP SYSTEMS
However, for most folks that do a poor job following up, it is due to not having a process in place. Maybe you tried a CRM and it was more of a hassle than it worth. Maybe keying in your past folks or learning how to use the system was frustrating the crap out of you. Well, you don’t have to use a CRM, you can create a spreadsheet or even a notepad. The key is to find what works for you. What will help you stay engaged with your past customers and clients
Here is the bad thing about us being horrible at staying in touch with our past customers & clients…
I’ve already admitted, that even I am horrible at this. Which if you think about it, is so stupid on our part when we don't do it. After all, these are people that are already raving fans of ours!
Think about it. When we get a new customer or client, we are having to wine and dine them. Sell them on our awesomeness. Prove to them that we can provide them what they need and how we will do a great job for them. Then, we actually pull it off. In the end, they love us, they love our people and they love our business and how we took great care of them. But here is where we blow it.
We move on to the next person. We chase the next lead. We spend all this time, money and energy trying to recruit new business and we fail to realize that while this old customer or client might not be a great immediate lead, they can do wonders for future business. Not only their own, but also the word of mouth they will share with their family and friends and neighbors.
The challenge becomes, how do you stay engaged with your past folks without sounding like you are only interested in the value they bring you in the future? Yet, not cross the line that you are wanting to become BFFs? I know in my world, I'm usually the first person they meet in the town when they purchase a home and we get pretty close. They want to hang out or do BBQs, etc. Some agents love this. They are always mingling with their clients. Being an introvert, this isn't necessarily something that gets me as excited as it does others. I tend to pull away. I feel bad since I usually love my folks. It is just how I am wired. So what can introverts do? You can’t ignore this. After all, it is easier to speak to someone you know vs someone you don’t, right?
TIME FOR A GAMEPLAN
If you are bad at staying engaged, pick something that you can do each week to check in with 2-3 people from your past folks. Maybe it is email, maybe it is calls, postcards or even a quick text to say hi. Just do something!
Don’t forget those folks that might not have purchased or sold yet, but are still on your radar. Find an hour each week that you can time block to do this exercise. While we might all do it differently, the spirit of the exercise should be the same. Stay engaged with those past customers or clients.
So, What Keeps You from Staying Engaged with Your Past Customers & Clients?
By the way, I covered this topic on my podcast – The Local Small Business Coach. I dived in deeper for other types of small business owners. Plus, I covered a question on purchasing equipment to grow business and shared a rant of an experience with a sign twirler. If interested, take a listen below or listen on your favorite podcasting ap.