It’s a pretty accepted fact that finding ways to do more business or get more referrals from your existing customers is a smart way to build a business. But as the din of noisy demands captures your attention it’s easy to forget all about those existing customers until they pick-up the phone and reorder.
I advocate creating a calendar of contacts and finding a way to make certain that your customers, referral sources and hottest prospects never go more than about 30 days without some form of contact. These contacts don’t, in fact shouldn’t, always have to be overt sales attempts. I adopted a practice long ago of picking up the phone on Friday afternoons and reaching out to people I felt I hadn’t talk with in a while just to see how they were. It never failed, however, to turn up some opportunities.
I received a handwritten note today from a supplier I have worked with for some time and it contained a very nice marketing nugget. (I’ve posted about handwritten notes before – do them and you will automatically stand out because nobody writes them anymore.) The note I received today was a note of introduction from a new employee at this organization. The note was simply her way of telling me she had joined the organization and little about her background – she isn’t my account rep and she wasn’t selling anything.
What a brilliant little tactic. I received a contact, I was impressed by the handwritten note, and she was allowed to go through and familiarize herself with this organization’s entire customer database – this works on a bunch of levels.