As a business coach, one of my client’s biggest challenges is growing their businesses while maintaining their authenticity. Sharing their services and products with others without feeling salesy or sleazy.
The easiest way to increase business for a heart-centered entrepreneur is by staying connected with those that already know, trust and adore you. Nurturing a relationship, building rapport, and staying connected will keep your business growing with referrals and happy customers.
In a recent soulful coaching call with one of my clients, we discussed some of his goals for 2014. I asked him what he wanted his business to look like and his thoughts on achieving that.
He shared with me his intention for more sales, what that number looked like, and that he wanted to work smarter rather than harder. I asked him about how he was doing in staying connected with those who had already done business with him. He admitted, “not so good.” He had two database programs and no list or system to track anything and wasn’t doing anything to keep connected with his past clients.
Rather than try to fix everything at once, and find some “perfect” software, I made a few suggestions that could be easily added to any business without the use of fancy software or long hours:
- Get your list together, start somewhere, even if it’s just the last 15 or 20 clients you did business with, and then build from there. The only way to get results is to get started. Something as simple as the contact section of Gmail would work.
- Send note cards immediately after doing business with a new client. Make the note personal; mention something they said or that took place so they feel you connected with them.
- Send regular PERSONAL notes to them with articles or recipes that may interest them. While many great online resources will allow you to point, click, and send a postcard or a note card, there is nothing, in my opinion, that says “I’m thinking of you”, then something handwritten.
- Send birthday cards. Getting your client’s birthday is pretty easy; most post it on Facebook. If not, ask. Add it to your calendar and hit your favorite card shop.
- Send out holiday cards. Christmas, yes, but how about Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, etc.
- On vacation, send them a postcard from your location. Even if you do this when you return, this will engage them and may make them pick up the phone or email and say, “Hey, I was thinking of going there; tell me more.”
Remember, you’re nurturing a relationship, not making a sale. Referrals and repeat business will come, maybe not immediately, but they will come from just being in front of those that you’ve already done business with. It takes one grain of sand at a time, like building an ant hill.
Final thought “Give that which you wish to receive.” If you wish to be remembered and referred to, you must give the people reasons and reminders to refer to you.