Who doesn’t want to be greeted by name? Who wouldn’t welcome congratulations on their special days and special occasions?
By reaching out to your clients in a personal and genuine way on a regular basis, you build their loyalty and trust.
When you schedule your connections for the year, you should refer to your list of A, B and C clients. The A clients may get a call once a quarter and cards on holidays and birthdays, while the C clients should know that they are in your thoughts.
There is little that beats a simple phone call. Create a schedule at the beginning of the year of times to connect with your clients. Have a short topic to discuss like checking in on their vacation plans or wishing them a happy birthday, and keep the conversation light and simple. This isn’t the time to sell. This is the time to show them that you care.
Here are some ways to stay in touch with your clients in a timely and efficient manner.
LinkedIn is one of the best tools for connecting. Inviting someone to connect with you begins the process. LinkedIn helps you maintain contact by publicizing changes to your connection's LinkedIn Profile, Connections and Groups. These changes stream across your LinkedIn Home page. You can also receive notifications in your email for your connections and groups. When you see interesting things in their lives, take time to comment. When the comments are personal and individual for each recipient, you do not have to have them pre-approved by compliance, just archived.
SendOutCards is a service that can simplify how you stay connected. You can create your own personal card based on your pictures and text. If you prefer, SendOutCards has thousands of cards to choose from and allows you to selectively or completely personalize the cards. If you like the card, sign your name and send it. If the picture is great but the language is off-target, you can change the language, sign it and send it (you can change the picture and keep the language also). If you want a completely customized card, you can add as many pictures (stock photos or shots you have taken), phrases and logos as you want.
The benefits of using this system are that you can create a new card, personalize it and mail it from the comfort of your office. No trips to the post office to buy stamps or drop off the cards. No trips to the card shop to select from limited supply of cards. You can customize a few cards you will reuse (thank you, nice to meet you, welcome to the-blank-financial family) or create a new card in minutes for each recipient. SendOutCards can even store your contact list and help you manage card campaigns of one or more cards sent to multiple recipients.
(Comer Consulting does not have a financial relationship with the other services mentioned in this article but can help you administer and sign up for SendOutCards.)
While many people still enjoy the tactile joy of opening mail, others may prefer the convenience and immediacy of an email. Like SendOutCards, PaperlessPost is a way to send elegant and customizable messages, but in the form of e-cards. Once again, you can create your own personalized card based on your pictures and text or you can select from a huge range of designs for every occasion and numerous ways to personalize the look and message.
Take time to develop several letter templates for a variety of common life experiences such as promotions or retirement. Then you can customize them as you need for each client as they reach their milestones.
While sending cards or electronic cards is a great way to stay in touch on holidays, and other important occasions such as anniversaries and graduations, your “A” clients will really be amazed when you send them messages throughout the year to acknowledge their accomplishments.
Set up tracking systems such as Google Alerts on some of your more prominent clients so that you can drop a quick note when they are mentioned in the news even if it’s just a local paper. Imagine how excited they will be to know that you are care!
While Twitter is not the best resource for personal communication, it can be an excellent way to stay aware of important events in your clients’ lives. Set up a separate Twitter list for your clients so you are alerted whenever they are mentioned or when they send a tweet.
Managing the number of touches you have with your best clients, with your most promising prospects and with your most important centers of influence, will keep you at the top of their mind. Include these touches from LinkedIn and SendOutCards in your marketing plan. Integrate with any other marketing activity to coordinate your touches with more substantial activities like lunches, review meetings and client appreciation events.
Whether your marketing plan calls for deepening your relationship with existing clients, for acquiring new clients through referrals or for developing new client leads from other sources, touching your contacts and maintaining connections should be a big part of your marketing strategy. You need to be at the top of their mind when they have a financial need or hear about the financial need of a colleague or friend.
• Understanding your Practice: what differentiates youWhen Comer Consulting creates an integrated marketing plan, we help you to:
• Defining your Goals: what would you like to accomplish
• Identifying your Preferences: what activities both generate results and are enjoyable
• Drafting your Key Messages: what messages communicate your individuality to your market