Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 4

Building-Profitable-Relationships-Rule-4Rule 4  Keep-in-Touch

In the first 3 rules, I emphasized the importance of the 250 X 250 rule, building a list and categorizing it into A, B, and C contacts, and educating your clients by what you say and do. The 4th rule, “The Power of a Keep-in-Touch Program”, ties it all together and puts managing your relationships on auto-pilot.

What is a Keep-in-Touch Program

A keep-in-touch Program is an ongoing communication program with your clients and other contacts that brands you and keeps you top of mind with your clients and other contacts.

A consistent Keep-in-Touch program is as powerful and more cost-effective than any targeted marketing program available today.

Putting your Keep-in-Touch program into action.

As mentioned in the article on categorizing your contacts, not all clients and contacts warrant the same level of communication.

Speaking in the language of your A-B-C list, your A contacts should receive something of value at least once a month, Your B contacts, at least once every other month, and your C contacts one a quarter.

Of course, you would send all of your contacts holiday cards, birthday cards, and congratulations when a special event such as a new birth or a promotion occurs.

When I speak of something of value, I do not mean marketing pieces such as a DVD, special report or promotional audio. While these have their place in any marketing campaign, they are not appropriate for your Keep-in-Touch program.

As a comment, these items will always be better received and more effective when used in conjunction with your Keep-in-Touch program.

Recognize and Appreciate Your Contacts Regularly

By something of value, I mean communication that recognizes, appreciates, and uplifts your contacts and lets them know that you think of them as people and not numbers on a list.

Your Keep-in-Touch program could include a card with a motivational quote, a card recognizing and appreciating them for the value they bring to you and your business, an idea that could help them in their business or personal lives, a humorous story that makes them laugh while teaching a life lesson. You get the idea.

While personal contact such as a phone call, a lunch, or meeting for coffee is the very best way to maintain contact, with today’s fast-moving business environment, it is impossible to do this with most of your contacts. With making sales calls, delivering your services, making presentations taking up much of the time of any person in business, trying to connect personally on a consistent regular basis is next to impossible.

Because a Keep-in-Touch program is ongoing, it builds a relationship bank account with your clients and contacts that allows you to go six or seven months without physically meeting with them, yet they know that you are thinking of them. When you do make contact, they feel like you have been talking with them every other week. The results are amazing.

Can this approach be used on the Internet with social networking contacts?

Of course, it can. With auto-responders, email newsletters, it is not only possible but fairly easy to implement.

The danger is that because it is so easy to communicate via the Internet, it’s just as easy to turn your Online Keep-in-Touch program into standard marketing or even worse a spam campaign.

When implementing an Internet component to your Keep-in-Touch program, keep its purpose, that of recognizing, appreciating, and uplifting, in the forefront.

When working with my clients, I recommend both an online and offline program.

Nothing is more powerful than the personal touch and you will find that your physical program consisting of cards, notes, small gifts when appropriate will always outperform your Internet program by a factor of at least 10 to 1.

With an Internet program, you can reach more people more easily, but your results reflect that fact and it does not have the same impact or results as sending something via the mail, by phone or in person.

Doing both with the same audience magnifies its power even more.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in the last four articles. Now it’s up to you to take these ideas and make them your own. Just knowing how important it is to build and nurture our relationships, is of no value. As my favorite Chinese proverb says: “Talk Don’t Cook Rice”

To your relationship-building success.