How to Stay in Touch with Clients This Time of Year

A top business priority is to make sure we keep the clients we have.  A large part of our marketing time should be devoted to strengthening and expanding the current client relationships we already have.   And there’s no way to better do that than to increase communications with them through an annual communications plan.

As accountants, we tend to feel like we are bugging people when we reach out.  But small business owners are not always as introverted as we are.  They already trust us, so it’s OK for us to share our opinion, just say hi, or even let them know of something new you are offering.

Your client communications plan should have some goals or outcomes:

  • Make clients feel important.
  • Make them feel like they are listened to.
  • Make you memorable.
  • Provide service that they will remember positively for some time to come.
  • Make them feel like you are interested in them.
  • Keep your promises.
  • Make it clear what you can and cannot do for clients.
  • Handle any complaints immediately and thoroughly.

Don’t worry; you don’t have to take every client to lunch every week!   Instead, we suggest that you incorporate both personal and not-so-personal touches into your plan.  It’s OK to send a newsletter to everyone, for example.  But you also want to make time to pick up the phone once a year, or more often if the client is very important to you.

Also, prospects may need to be warmed up.  Only 3% of sales occur in the first meeting, and a substantial majority (over 80%) of sales occurs after 5 touches.  You will definitely increase the conversion ratios that we covered in the last chapter by adding your prospects to a touch plan as well.  In marketing, this is commonly called a drip campaign.

Here are some ways to keep in touch with customers and prospects:

  1. Newsletter, emailed or printed.
  2. Quarterly mailing with a book or gift.
  3. Special note.
  4. Note at project completion.
  5. Note welcoming them as new customer.
  6. Thank you note.
  7. Request for testimonial.  (It’s OK to ask them for things; people generally like helping other people out.)
  8. Birthday card.
  9. Anniversary card (date you started working together).
  10. Cartoon.
  11. Send a referral.
  12. Share a case study.
  13. Send a white paper.
  14. Send a free report.
  15. Share a news story about you.
  16. Send an announcement about a new service or special offer.
  17. Send them a news story about them.
  18. Share an article that made you think about them.
  19. Invoice.
  20. Email.
  21. Phone call.
  22. Free seminar.
  23. Open house invitation.
  24. Party invitation.
  25. Go to an event together.
  26. Send sports or entertainment event tickets.
  27. Articles.
  28. Free products.
  29. Free promotional items.
  30. Lunch or breakfast or coffee (this time is NOT billable, by the way).
  31. Spa certificate, flowers, chocolates, luxury items, gift basket.

This article was an excerpt from my ebook, Six Simple Steps to Get More Clients.