The easiest way to increase business is by staying connected with those that already know, trust, and adore you. This is the number one strategy of many top sales and business professionals. They realize that nurturing a relationship, building rapport, and staying connected is one of the best and possibly the only way to build a business filled with referrals.
This topic has come up recently with several clients in my transaction management business which tells me that it’s time to expand on it here.
The latest call was similar to the others and went something like this. Jim (not his real name) called, he was happy with our transaction coordinating services and wanted help with marketing and database management. In his call we discussed some of his goals, what he really wanted his business to look like, and his thoughts on achieving that.
He shared with me his vision for more sales and what that number looked like to him and also that he wanted to work smarter rather than harder. We discussed some marketing ideas and things I thought could easily be systemized and many that could be outsourced. When we got to talking about his current list, he told me he was ashamed to admit he hadn’t done well at keeping connected with those he’d done business with. That even recently he’d run into a past client who told him they’d “just sold their home… with another agent”. OUCH!!
The thought of what to do to keep connected was overwhelming to him. He had two database programs and no list or system to tack anything. Here are some of the thoughts I shared with him that could be easily added to any business without the use of fancy software, or long hours:
- Get your list together, start somewhere, even if it’s just the last five transactions you did, and then build from there. The only way to get results is to get started.
- Send note cards immediately after closing thanking the client again for allowing you to help. Make the note personal, mention something they said or what took place so they feel you connected with them.
- Send regular PERSONAL notes to them with articles or recipes that may be of interest. While there are always many great online resources that will allow you to point, click, and send a postcard or a note card, there is nothing in my opinion that says “I’m thinking of you”, than something handwritten.
- Send birthday cards. Getting your client’s birthday is pretty easy. You don’t even have to ask, just get it from the title company who will get their ID at closing. Add it to your calendar and hit your favorite card shop to stock up.
- Send out holiday cards. Christmas, yes, but how about Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, etc.
- On a vacation, send them a postcard from your location. Even if you do this when you return, this will engage them and may make them pick up the phone or email and say, “Hey, I was thinking of going there, tell me more”.
After chatting with our client, he saw how simple this could be and promised to get started connecting and reconnecting with those he’d already won over as clients. My advice for him on getting started:
Grab a sheet of paper, jot down the holidays, notes and other items you want to send out. Add it to your calendar so you can order the appropriate amount of holiday cards, note cards, postcards etc. Then you simply have to give up some TV time occasionally and handwrite some personal notes or postcards.
Remember, you’re nurturing a relationship, not making a sale. Referrals will come, maybe not immediately, but they will come from just being in front of those that you’ve already done business with. Like building an anthill, one grain of sand at a time.
Final thought: “Give that which you wish to receive”. If you wish to be remembered and referred to, you must give the people reasons and reminders to refer to you.