Congratulations! You’ve courted your prospect and won their heart. But if you want to KEEP their heart and their business, you must continue to romance them throughout your professional relationship.
Kevin Eikenberry shared a metaphor on his blog, Leadership & Learning: “We romance Clients or Customers to get them (like a first few dates), but after they are Clients we tend to focus less attention on them (like 10 years after the wedding).” But this is wrong! Just like the romance should not end after the wedding, it shouldn’t end between you and your clients after the contract is signed either.
So if you want to enhance the quality of your professional relationship with clients, try Eikenberry’s 5 tips to romance your long-term customers.
- Listen more. It’s time to turn off your brain, shut your mouth and open your ears. You can greatly enhance your relationship by simply listening to your client with no ulterior motive, agenda or distraction. “People are truly listened to so rarely that when you do, it will stand out.” And, once your clients realize that you are not always calling to pitch another sale, they will look forward to chatting with you rather than avoid your calls.
- Respond quicker. Are you making new, potential customers more of a priority than your long-term clients? If so, it’s time for a change! Your long-term clients have invested time, money and energy into working with you, so you should return the same courtesy. If you have to choose between responding to a long-term client or a new prospect, always take care of your long-term customer first.
- Find ways to delight them. The best relationships are ones filled with surprise and delight. Aside from listening more and responding quicker, which both can delight the customer, you should always be thinking of ways to make your long-terms clients’ experiences the best they can be. Get creative and think outside the box! Send a small gift of thanks or give them first crack at a new feature or service you are providing. Find ways to treat them like VIPs.
Make sure your long-term clients feel the love in your relationship by implementing these 3 tips and Eikenberry’s 2 others. If you put your clients on the back-burner, they’ll feel the neglect and will eventually move onto someone else who WILL romance them.