Relationships are everything in business. Especially relationships with your clients and customers. To ensure that these stay strong, sometimes you've got to reach out to your contacts in ways that don't immediately contribute to your bottom line.
To set yourself apart from other people trying to connect, it’s imperative to make your contacts’ experience personalized and unique. Finding good reasons to reach out helps you do this in a way that's awesome with people every time.
Having trouble coming up with reasons to reach out? Here are a few you should try:
1. Congratulate them on a new job
If you notice that your client has just received a promotion or a new job, make sure you send them a congratulations. Don’t just use the mindless built-in LinkedIn feature to do this. Instead, send a personal email or text message to your contact. Use can also use tags in your address book to keep track of the dates your contacts start new jobs so you can reach out every year to celebrate their anniversaries.
2. Recall a meeting
If you meet a lot of people face to face, reach out a few weeks or months after your last meeting and tell your contact that he or she has been on your mind since the meeting. It's not necessary to have an agenda to tell people you've been thinking about them and you appreciate the chance you had to meet in person.
To personalize your outreach after a meeting, add notes and tags to your address book so you can include in your message something positive you remember talking about in the meeting.
3. Celebrate their birthday
Birthdays are always a cause for celebration. Most social networks make it easy to keep tabs on your client's birthdays, but it's even more awesome with people when you remember a birthday outside the context of a social media connection. Don’t just send a quick message; take it a step further.
Input birthdays into your contact management system to remind yourself to reach out. Then send out a card 1 week before the birthday (you can do this with an online service like Sent Well or Postable to make it easier).
If cards seem a bit too much, just send out a personalized email on the contact's birthday wishing them a happy birthday. Even this small personal effort goes a long way.
4. Remind them that they chose you
Make a note of when your customer first met you or signed up for your service and keep these details in the notes in your address book. Then, on the anniversary of your meeting or the service start date, use this as an opportunity to delight them.
Reaching out to a customer during this time can make them feel valued and want to continue working with your company for the long-haul. Instead of the obvious thank you email, reach out with a phone call, a text message, or a physical letter. It's not necessary to offer a coupon or discount during this time. Keep the balance between acknowledging the relationship and promoting your services.
5. Offer someone else’s deals and discounts
If you have any extensive customer profiles that contain important customer information like favorite movies, companies they enjoy, or any hobbies they have, send your customer information relevant to their interests.
For instance, if you know that a customer of yours is a huge Kristian Bush fan and that he's touring in their area, send your customer a link to the event (or maybe even a pair of tickets, depending on your relationship. If your clients provide your business with a lot of revenue every year, then this will be a worthwhile investment.)
6. Be supportive and helpful
If you're in the people business, your job is to continually serve your customers. Try to find ways to support and help them by diagnosing their future problems before they do.
Reach out with information in the form of a guide or blog post that’ll help them overcome a road block before they get there. This can even be something like a simple report or stream of data you’ve compiled about the future of their industry. It doesn’t have to be material from your company, or even referencing your company – the act of reaching out with helpful info will go further to promote your products than direct promotion.
Customer support and satisfaction should be the goal of any relationship-focused professional. By reaching out to contacts more often with good reasons to get in touch, you’ll set yourself apart from the other businesses in your field and create deeper, stronger relationships with your contacts. So go ahead—reach out!