Valentine's Day is around the corner. It's time for love, chocolates, and flowers. But if you haven't paid attention to your partner all year, even two pounds of chocolate and dozens of flowers are not enough.
You and your clients are also in a relationship. And if you haven't paid enough attention to them throughout the year, you might be in for a surprise. For example, out of the blue, you get an email with the dreaded words, "Can you send me a copy of the current contract?" Your heart skips a beat, your breath catches, and your palms get sweaty from fear, not love. You don't remember this client complaining, and you haven't talked to them in a while, so for a moment, you convince yourself that they are simply updating their files, but deep down, you know the real reason. They are looking for a new partner. Or, worse, someone else has already caught their eye. What happens next is a companywide call for all-hands-on-deck! Everything must be done to save the relationship. You pull out all the stops, but it's probably too late!
I get it. It's hard to keep up with all your clients all the time. It's hard when a handful continually complains and demands your time. It's hard when you don't have enough staff to connect with each client regularly because you are heads-down doing the day-to-day work. Maintaining contact and continual outreach is time-consuming and challenging. The good news is there are ways to fill in the gaps to help support your relationship efforts.
Here are some ideas you should consider:
1. Schedule regular emails or newsletters to keep clients informed and let them know that they are on your mind.
2. Share helpful and educational information and links to support their organization's goals.
3. Send surveys so you can see who does and does not engage.
4. Conduct educational webinars to help make you a source for their industry knowledge
5. Orchestrate roundtables and use that information to share with clients (and learn what's on their mind).
Remember to spread the love throughout the year with connections and information that supports your client's goals, and they will be more appreciative of the chocolates you send on Valentine's Day!