3 Foolproof Ways to Maintain Client Relationships
As soon as you close a sale, what should you? Hopefully you’ll give yourself a moment to celebrate and give yourself a pat on the back. But the most important thing to remember is that your work isn’t over, but rather it’s only just begun.
Here’s some food for thought:
- Most revenue comes from existing customers.
- Happy customers become your top referral sources.
- Customer retention lowers acquisition costs and increases revenue.
Whether or not your company has an account management team that handles the actual on-boarding, delivery and support for whatever you just sold, it’s still on you to maintain a great relationship with your client. It provides your company with additional credibility because your customers will see that they have an entire group of people who care about them and their business.
Even if the account management team takes over and it’s on their shoulders to ensure that the client renews, it will be much harder for the customer to take their business elsewhere when they’ve already created relationships with your entire company. And finally, it’s a small world, especially in business, so maintaining good relationships with everyone you come across should be instinctive.
Here are 3 simple ways you can maintain great client relationships once you’ve closed a deal:
1. Social Media
This may be dependent on how and where you found your client in the first place, but if you’re already connected on social media then this is probably one of the easiest ways to stay in touch. If you haven’t yet connected on LinkedIn or Twitter then it’s probably time you sent that invite!
Think twice before going out to try to find them on Facebook. That’s a much more personal social channel where you should be cautious about building a professional relationship.
Once you’re connected - it’s time to maintain rapport. It shouldn’t be so much about sending messages along the lines of “How’s it going?”, but more about sharing relevant information and ideas that you think they would find helpful.
Have they posted anything that you can provide a thoughtful comment on? Don’t just simply like or retweet everything they post. Leave an actual comment once in a while that shows you’re listening and reading about what’s important to them.
Also, if there’s anything you find they would be interested in - share it! They’ll appreciate the thought you put into thinking of them and will be pleased if whatever you’ve posted is actually useful to them in some way.
It’s easy to get carried away on social media so ensure you’re keeping your interactions authentic and not overwhelming.
2. "Health Check" Calls
Even if another individual in your company is now managing the client account, it’s great to check in with both parties to see how things are going. First, clear it with the person or team managing the account to avoid confusion and interference. Then ask them for an update so that you’re clear on what’s going on with the account and will give you an insightful way to lead a discussion with that client.
For example, let’s say you sell a productivity solution for companies and the account management team just had to make changes to the account because another five individuals were added. That means your client’s company is growing! Checking in with the customer to congratulate them or to further understand what changes are happening and why. This is a great way to stay in touch and show you care about “being in the know” with your client and their company.
Another way to use this type of call is to check-in on the health of the account. What’s working? What’s not working? Do we need to make any changes or adjustments to ensure success is achieved? Even if you receive some critical feedback during this time, it provides you with the opportunity to course correct before it gets too late.
If you can, schedule these health check calls in advance. Doing so will help establish a regular communication cadence with your client and set the expectation that you want to remain involved and informed. It also creates a clear and open line of communication from both sides.
When you have these scheduled check-in points, it provides value to the client and is an excellent method for maintaining and growing a healthy client relationship.
3. Schedule Face-to-Face Meetings
Living in the digital age of communication certainly has its perks, but when it comes to building and maintaining business relationships it’s not always the best approach. It's much easier to build relationships through face-to-face meetings than it is with virtual meetings. And relationships are without a doubt, the key to any kind of long-term business success. You can make more of an impression face to face, based on what you are wearing, how you conduct yourself in the meeting, even your computer/pens etc. This is a big part of our personal brand, whether you like it or not.
It's also much easier to engage with people when sitting across from them, face to face. We can laugh, hear each other clearly, make a comment about something in the office or something we've seen on the way in and so forth. While making small talk is often a dreaded activity, it can actually help with fostering your relationships. When you’re meeting face to face with someone you can gain a ton of information from this short interaction and then use it to tailor your pitch. If you’re lucky, you might even pick up a nugget of information (maybe you went to the same college, know the same person, share the same hobby, etc…) that will connect you with your prospect on an even deeper level.
Why It Matters
Clients are arguably one of the most important factors of starting and sustaining a successful business. Without clients -- especially those who return to hire you again and again -- your business would be non-existent. This is why the more successful you are at understanding and forming relationships with your clients, the more successful you will be at growing your own business. Three of the easiest ways to make sure you’re in touch on a regular basis is through social media, health check calls, and scheduling face-to-face meetings. You never know what positive outcomes maintaining great relationships can bring!
About Molly D Protosow
Molly Protosow is the COO and Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.