About thirty-five years ago my father bought insurance from an agent named Roy Rohatinsky. How do I remember that? Because every year until I moved out of my parents home, I received a phone call on my birthday from Roy. “Hi Dave, this Roy Rohatinsky. Just calling to wish you a happy birthday!”
“Sure. Good bye.”
When my parents asked who was on the phone, I replied “Some guy named Roy wishing me a happy birthday.”
“Oh, that is the insurance man!” My mom would say and we’d go back to whatever we were doing before the call came. Thirty-five years later Roy is still my parents insurance agent and I still remember his name. If you need insurance Roy can be reached at 3549 N University Ave. Ste 200 Provo, UT 84604. Roy knew how important it was to stay in touch with his clients.
Another example. My brother bought a house in Mesa, Arizona nearly fifteen years ago from a realtor named Becky. His experience with Becky as his realtor was good. Every year since then he has received a pumpkin on Halloween from Becky along with an invitation to attend a Christmas party. The first eleven years Becky received no payback on those pumpkins. But in the twelfth year I decided to move to Mesa and asked my bother if he knew of any good realtors. “Oh, I just got my pumpkin from Becky. Let me get you her number.”
Becky helped us find a great house for our family. When my wife’s brother got a job transfer to Mesa, we recommended Becky. They used her and had a great experience. I also recommended Becky to a co-worker that bought a home through her and, in turn, recommended her to another co-worker that also bought a home using her services.
Some might say Becky was wasting her pumpkins on my brother—especially after eleven years. Becky knew differently: eleven pumpkins for the commissions on four houses is a very sweet return. By the way, if you are moving to Arizona, look up Becky Coen, the best real estate agent in the state.
Staying in touch is powerful because it focuses on what really matters: the relationship. With modern technology it doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming to stay in touch. Here are five simple ways you can stay in touch with your clients or customers:
- Never forget a Birthday. This is a simple one, but it is amazing how few businesses make the effort. Ray made a phone call, but a card or an email can be just as effective. You might consider including a gift such as a coupon or discount. If you do, make sure it has real value. If your customers perceive you are just using it as an excuse to send them advertising you will lose any value you might have created. Use a tool like PromoterZ.com to automate the process.
- Pick a holiday and make it yours. Becky delivers pumpkins on Halloween, but depending on your business you could pick any holiday and make it yours. Give pies on the 4th of July or chocolates on Valentines. A card on Christmas is an old standby that still works, but it is easy to get lost in the flood of cards that are sent that time of year. Try something different.
- Be grateful. Send each of your clients or customers a thank you card or email after each purchase or just from time to time to thank them for being your customers. Gratitude is always appreciated.
- Get involved in a community event. Sponsor a golf tournament or a local road race or a cultural event of some kind in your city or industry. Let your clients know about the event and encourage their participation. They will appreciate the fact that you are giving back to the community.
- Publish a newsletter and/or a blog. Take a few minutes each week, month or quarter to tell your customers about your business and/or industry. Don’t be afraid to tell them about your self. Remember, the goal is to build the relationship and just like any other relationship, building a relationship with your customer requires your willingness to share. Tell them your story. No one can compete with that.