Tips For Building Customer Relationships

Tips for Building Customer RelationshipsMost business owners and sales professionals drop the ball when it comes to recognizing and appreciating their clients, especially during the first 60 days.

Why not use this natural tendency of others to slack off to separate yourself from your competition? Your clients will become enthusiastic supporters who talk to their friends about the special attention they're getting from you. You'll obliterate any buyer's remorse. They'll tell others how great it feels to know they've made the right choice.

It goes without saying that you must be excellent at what you do and deliver what you promise, otherwise no amount of customer recognition or appreciation will turn a client into a friend.

Use a system

Here is a simple, inexpensive, easy-to-implement system for building a productive and profitable relationship with virtually any new customer. It's designed to create loyal customers who continuously tell their friends and associates how great you are.

Immediately send a card to your client thanking him for the trust and confidence he placed in you when he became a customer. Don't underestimate the power of a personal card. It doesn't take long to do it, and it makes a big impact.

If you have an assistant, have them call to welcome your new client and introduce themselves. This shows that your whole team is ready to serve.

Call your client within 3 days to personally thank them again and see if they have any questions or need any assistance. On this call tell them you'd like to spend a half-hour or so getting to know them better so that you may be able to refer business to them (or help them reach their goals). Schedule either a phone call or a meeting over coffee. Try to schedule it the next week. This shows that you really care and can have a powerful impact.

When you meet, either by phone or in person, focus on their needs, desires, dreams and goals. Ask questions about them. Get to know how you can help them. If you have not done so yet, get family information and birthdays. Make a friend.

After your meeting

Use the Internet to find an article, web site or other resources that can help your client. Email this to them with a short note. Send a card letting them know how nice it was meeting with them.

Schedule a birthday card to go out a week before the birthdays that you've gathered. Be creative; if the client has a small boy, send him a card from your dog rather than yourself. These should be real cards, the kind your client can touch and feel, not e-cards. They should also include a personal note.

One way to do this is to buy the cards on your way home from the meeting, address them, stamp them and put them in a tickler file. Then on the day you send them include a personal note and mail it.

NOTE: I use an automated system that sends these cards out for me. It's a powerful system that lets me send a greeting card using the internet and my computer. I choose a card, type in a note, address it, and click Send. The company prints it, stuffs it, stamps it and mails it for only $2.99 and that includes the postage! They also provide a wholesale package that cuts the cost in half.  If you'd like to give it a try visit:

About a week after your meeting send a follow-up thank you. Include a brief note telling why you're glad he is your client. You may want to include a gift card – I often use a $5 Starbucks card. Note: If you're in an industry such as Real Estate where an after the sale gift is standard procedure, this should be in addition to that gift.

During the next month or two connect with your client at least once a week, then aim for twice a month.  If you have a newsletter this is a great way to keep in front of your client continuously.

Suggestions for keeping in front of your client

Check the Internet for articles or resources of interest to your client. If I find a number of sources, I save them and then drip them on my client. Too much information all at once can be a burden rather then a help.

Keep your eyes out for anything of interest to your new client; books, web sites or other offline resources. For example, say your client likes Italian food and you learn of a new restaurant. Give them a call and tell them about it, or email them.

The point is, you want to stay in front of your clients in ways that provide value to them and at the same show that you recognize and appreciate the contribution they make to your success.  Do this and they will enthusiastically look for people to send your way.

I hope you found this article to be informative and helpful. I welcome your comments and suggestions. If I can help you in any way feel free to contact me.

Bob Gallo