Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 3

Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 3Rule #3   Educate your contacts by what you say and do.

Think about the last time a contact sent you a referral? Did you take the time to send a thank you card. Did you keep him in the loop and share the results. Did you actually call the referral? If not, you just taught your contact to never send you a referral again.

Have you ever have a friend buy what you sell from someone else and when you mentioned it to her, she said she did not know that you did that? Ouch!

Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly teaching our contacts, either by the words we say and the action we take, or by our the things we don't do. Here are a few questions to help you see how well you are educating your contacts.

Do your contacts know exactly what you do? Whose responsibility is it to be sure that they understand the value that you bring to the table?

Do your contacts know that you appreciate them and the value that they bring to your life?

Do your clients know that you appreciate their business? When was the last time you told them? We either teach our contacts that they matter or we teach them that they don't. When was the last time you sent a note letting a contact know that you appreciate them, not because they sent you a referral or made a purchase, but just because?

Do your contacts know what a good referral for you looks like? Have you told them? If not, they don't know. Do you know who would be a good referral for your contacts? If not, ask them.

I could go on and on about the little things that make so much difference, but I think you get the point.

We are constantly teaching, either by what we say and do, or by what we fail to say and do. What lessons are you sharing with your contacts?

Action Steps

Answer the above questions and then act on your results. If you find areas that need work, don't try to fix them all at once. Instead, follow Benjamin Franklin's approach and select one question each week and make it a priority to work on it every day. I suggest you schedule the area that you are working on into your daily to-do list and treat it like an appointment you must keep.

In our 4th and final lesson we'll look at how and why you should create your own keep-in-touch program.

Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 4

Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 4Rule 4  Keep-in-Touch

In the first 3 rules I emphasized the importance of the 250 X 250 rule, building a list and categorizing it into your A B and C Contacts, and of educating your clients by what you say and do. The 4th rule, “The Power of a Keep-in-Touch Program, ties it all together and puts managing your relationships on auto-pilot.

What is a Keep-in-Touch Program

A Keep-in-Touch Program is an ongoing communication program with your clients and other contacts that brands you and keeps you top of mind with your clients and other contacts.

A consistent Keep-in-Touch program is as powerful and more cost effective than any targeted marketing program available today.

Putting your Keep-in-Touch program into action.

As mentioned in the article on categorizing your contacts, not all clients and contacts warrant the same level of communication.

Speaking in the language of your A-B-C list, your A contacts should receive something of value at least once a month, Your B contacts, at leaste once every other month and your C contacts one a quarter.

Of course you would send all of your contacts holiday cards, birthday cards and congratulations when a special event such as a new birth or a promotion occurs.

When I speak of something of value, I do not mean marketing pieces such as a DVD, special report or a promotional audio. While these have their place in any marketing campaign, they are not appropriate for you Keep-in-Touch program.

As a comment, these items will always be better received and more effective when used in conjunction with your Keep-in-Touch program.

Recognize and Appreciate Your Contacts Regularly

By something of value, I mean communication that recognizes, appreciates and uplifts your contacts and let's them know that you think of them as people and not numbers on a list.

Your Keep-in-Touch program could include a card with a motivational quote, a card recognizing and appreciating them for the value they bring to you and your business, an idea that could help them in their business or personal lives, a humorous story that make them laugh while teaching a life lesson. You get the idea.

While personal contact such as a phone call, a lunch, or meeting for coffee is the very best way to maintain contact, with today's fast moving business environment, it is impossible to do this with most of your contacts. With making sales calls, delivering your services, making presentations taking up much of the time of any person in business, trying to connect personally on a consistent regular basis is next to impossible.

Because a Keep-in-Touch program is ongoing, it builds a relationship bank account with your clients and contacts that allows you to go six or seven months without physically meeting with them, yet they know that you are thinking of them. When you do make contact, they feel like you have been talking with every other week. The results are amazing.

Can this approach be used on the Internet with social networking contacts

Of course, it can. With auto-responders, email newsletters, it is not only possible but fairly easy to implement.

The danger is that because it is so easy to communicate via the Internet, it's just as easy to turn your Online Keep-in-Touch program into standard marketing or even worse a spam campaign.

When implementing an Internet component to your Keep-in-Touch program, keep it's purpose, that of recognizing, appreciating and uplifting, in the forefront.

When working with my clients, I recommend both and online and offline program.

Nothing is more powerful than the personal touch and you will find that your physical program consisting of cards, notes, small gifts when appropriate will always out perform your Internet program by a factor of at least 10 to 1.

With an Internet program, you can reach more people more easily, but your results reflect that fact and it does not have the same impact or results as sending something via the mail, by phone or in person.

Doing both with the same audience magnifies it's power even more.

We've covered a lot of ground in the last four articles. Now it's up to you to take these ideas and make them your own. Just knowing how important it is to build and nurture our relationship, is of know value. As my favorite Chinese proverb says: “Talk Don't Cook Rice”

To your relationship building success.

How to Identify Your Customer Touchpoints

Every business wants to improve customer satisfaction, but unless you have your customer in mind at every touchpoint, theres a chance youre dropping the ball.

Identifying your touchpoints is the first step toward creating a customer journey map, and making sure your customers are satisfied every step of the way.

To see whats working, you can run customer feedback surveys at each major touchpoint or set up customer experience management software. But make sure not lose sight of the big picture, so always look at your entire customer journey.

What Is Touch-Point Marketing?

Touch points vary from one business to another. Touch points can be face-to-face discussions, promotional fliers, online ads and anything else that involves a business marketing message, brand name or logo reaching the customer.

The amount and effectiveness of your small business marketing touch points can determine your level of success and the ways your marketing can be improved. Some examples of Touch points are:

In Store
Electronic communication
Mail and Print
Customer Service

Image Credit: