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WARNING: Are you treating your clients like a cheap date?

This sounds really silly at first glance, but if you compared the relationships most companies have with their clients to the relationships of everyday life that don’t involve money, it’s hard not to cringe.

Seriously, think about it. Most companies don’t communicate with their clients for months on end, then, when the company really needs to “boost the bottom-line” they send out some bogus direct mail piece that essentially says, “Hey, how are ya? Why don’t you come see us so you can spend some money?” Is that the way you like to be treated?

Well, it’s certainly not the way we like to be treated, and this foul treatment can be avoided altogether if you just take a few simple steps.

1. Try to reach out to your customers, at minimum, on a monthly basis.

Whether it’s a newsletter, a phone call or any other means of communication, keep the lines of communication open with your clients.

2. Don’t just call or write when you have a self-serving agenda.

We all have that one friend that only calls when he needs to borrow the sugar or needs a favor. Don’t be the business that your clients feel the same way about. Only communicating when it benefits you is not the way to build trust. Continue to reach out to them even when you don’t have something to sell, remember, we’re trying to build a relationship here.

3. Communicate with your clients and treat them like real people no matter what advertising medium you are using.

This if my favorite. Do you yell the following to your best friend, “COME OVER TO MY HOUSE TODAY JIM, WE’VE GOT ROCK-BOTTOM PRICES!” Well, if you do, I’m glad we don’t speak on a regular basis, but realistically, this is no way to communicate. If you can communicate with your clients across mediums (television, radio, sales letters, direct mail, etc) using the same wording you would use when talking to an old friend, then it will likely connect with those who read it. When you take the time to communicate in this fashion, it shows that you have some personality, and people can instantly connect with you personally rather than the droves of other faceless radio announcers yelling at them to buy used cars. Just remember to take out the 4-letter-words and inside jokes!

There you have it; just a few simple steps that will help you create a longer-lasting and more profitable relationship with your clients. Hey, who knows, after a while you may even get invited to “meet the parents.”