The prolific Garrison Keillor is known to say, "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch." Simple right? We should be well, do good work and keep in touch. It even sounds like the recipe for a bountiful business chock full of high-paying high-value clients. One problem: When most of us are creating our business masterpiece we often skimp on one of the essential ingredients--keeping in touch. Oh, we do it, sometimes, when we really want something from someone, but that's just not enough.
In fact, the keep-in-touch strategy may be the most important marketing strategy you'll ever use. You know you need to connect with potential clients many times before they feel comfortable hiring you or purchasing your products. You know you need to build repport with colleagues and potential referral partners before they'll recommend you to others. And if you don't have a systematized and automated keep-in-touch strategy in place, you don't have a keep-in-touch strategy. You'll leave so many opportunities on the table, and most importantly, you'll be missing out on the opportunity to serve your ideal clients--the people who energize and inspire you.
The lack of a solid keep-in-touch marketing strategy is where most businesses fail. Either they bombard you with too much information and too many offers that turn you off (I'm guilty of that from time to time myself), or you never hear from them at all, which leaves you feeling unimportant and irrelevant.
Consider the experience of my client, Barbara. Within a few short years she had compiled over 5,000 opt-in names for her database. The names were captured, but Barbara never really followed up with any of them until one day when she created a promotional offer to send to her list, and she eagerly clicked Send. What came back were mostly emails from recipients inquiring as to who she was and how they knew each other. Barbara learned a valuable lesson that day: Determine the best approach for using this strategy and build it into your keep-in-touch plans!
Each time I send out my electronic newsletter, which is my primary keep-in-touch strategy, I get new orders for my products, enrollments in my Book Yourself Solid 15-Week Group Coaching Program and calls for my speaking services. Every time! Why? Because I have a solid keep-in-touch marketing strategy in place, without which I would not be able to build trust with people over time.
But there is another side to keep-in-touch that's so often overlooked in the digital age--following up and building a relationship with colleagues and potential marketing and referral partners via cards, letters, phones calls and in person meetings. Call it the "old-school" way. Do you do it? Consistently? Do you have a way to automate it? Do you have a way to set it and forget it so it doesn't consume you? (For me, the thought of sending cards and keeping-in-touch with all the people I meet without a way to automate it is a rather mind-numbing thought. Thank goodness, there is a way to automate it. And I'm so excited to introduce you to my ace in the hole.
Have a look at www.bookedsolidcards.com
8 Simple Strategies to Keep-In-Touch To Grow Your Business and Get Booked Solid
You've probably heard it by now. The Book Yourself Solid Keep-in-Touch Strategy is the most important strategy you will ever use. Not only do you know this to be true but you also know you need to actually use it to grow your business and get booked solid.
There's one small problem: You don't know WHAT to say or WHEN to follow up, aside from the usual "Thank You" card. Rest assured that you are not alone. Just this past week, two different clients came to their coaching sessions feeling lost and a bit frustrated that they didn't have a solid keep-in-touch plan. "I would love to keep in touch if only I knew what exactly to say or how to add value in following up," one client remarked. Another client put in this way: "I know I need to reach out consistently to build relationships, but I need to be more creative. I can't just keep calling my colleagues when I want a referral."
The more confidence and clarity you have about how to best implement this strategy, the more likely you are to actually use it! Granted, any effort to keep in touch is certainly better than none at all. Chances are good, though, that you will use this strategy even more when you have a plan and some ideas on how to follow up.
To help spark your creativity, here are several great ideas that will help you implement the keep-in-touch strategy:
1. Recognize the Success of Others - Send a card congratulating a referral partner or industry leader on their latest successes or awards. To do this, scan the business section of the paper or the Business Journals to stay current and learn of awards given to your colleagues.
2. Celebrate Less Popular Holidays - Instead of sending the typical holiday card, decide to send a card for Groundhog's Day or Halloween. Sending a card on a less popular holiday will ensure that your card will be noticed. Plus, you might get points for creativity!
3. Ask "How Can I Be of Service?" - Rather than waiting for the phone to ring, call up a colleague or referral partner to learn specific ways that you may be able to help them. You may be the person who has the exact resource they need for an upcoming project.
4. Recommend Valuable Resources - When you find a valuable resource or tool, such as a book, marketing tool, or new business service, this is a great opportunity to reach out to prospects, clients or strategic partners. Send a card with the name of the resource. Not only will you add immediate value in recommending the resource, but you will also build your "likeability" in the process.
5. Invite Others To Attend - Attending an association lunch or networking event? Call a referral partner or colleague and invite them to go with you. Not only will you have a chance to build a relationship with this person but you also add value in helping them expand their network and meet new people.
6. Say "Thank You" Often - Although this one sounds obvious, have you ever neglected to say "thanks" for a referral, a resource or just a helping hand? When in doubt, it's always better to say thank you too much than not enough.
7. Make Introductions - Send an email or make a phone call to introduce two people in your network who could benefit from knowing one another. For example, you might introduce a real estate agent and a financial planner becuase they might be great referral partners for one another.
8. Send a Card "Just Because" - Sometimes you don't need a reason to follow up, other than to express admiration and appreciation. Send a "Just Because" card to show your interest in developing a business relationship or strategic partnership.
The more you keep in touch, send follow-up cards and emails, and make calls, the more fun you will have in using this strategy and the more success you will experience.
Whoever thought that keeping in touch could be this easy and fun... especially now that you've got access to www.bookedsolidcards.com!
© 2003-2006 Michael Port & Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved. You may copy or distribute this e-newsletter, in whole or in part, as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Michael Port. He can be contacted at www.MichaelPort.com or www.BookYourselfSolid.com.
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