Check out the insert for tips on hosting an EPIC Client Event from Guest Writer Sue Styles!
Personal Connections We often talk about using a mix of marketing tools to connect with your sphere of influence. We’ve covered digital and tactile marketing and how they work alone and together. Now it’s time to focus on personal connections. Meeting with your sphere face to face, over the phone or via video is an integral component of your relationship building. It’s the best way to engage and will leave a lasting impression. Ideally you should be connecting personally with each person in your sphere of influence at least twice a year. That’s through phone calls, coffee meetings, invites to events, etc. However, it may not be physically possible to connect with everyone in your sphere more than once, so thankfully there are a couple of avenues you can take and still make the most of the personal connection experience.
The first is the client event. Just inviting your sphere to an exclusive, client-only event will increase their perception of you, but when they attend and you give them a few moments of your time, you can trust that relationship you’re building ends up even stronger. People love free stuff (I know you do) and free food is at the top of that list. An event will cost a bit at once, but if you look at it in cost/connection, it’s not that bad. It will also involve a bit of planning on your part. Here are a few ideas: host a picnic, a BBQ, a paint night at a local pub, a wine and cheese reception, rent out a movie theatre to show a family film complete with popcorn and drinks…. You get the idea. Anywhere your clients can congregate, see and talk to you and get something valuable out of the experience will be a successful connection.
The next is the text message. I know you’re thinking it’s a cop out, but hear me out. When you receive a text message from someone – you know it’s actually them reaching out. (Unless it’s a group text, and please let’s agree to stop those right now.) So if you take a few minutes each day to individually text a few people from your sphere and re-connect with them, it can lead to a text conversation which will build the relationship and keep you in the forefront of their mind. And that’s the goal of personal connections. Text a quick anecdote or memory or a bit of humour... Remember when we looked at that house with the green shag carpet and thought it was the worst? Well, I just saw something even better – robin egg blue shag carpet! Right? I hope you’re enjoying your new place! If you have any friends that love shag carpet as much as you do – send them my way… I have just the place for them. The personal, casual tone will be just as personal as a phone call and many folks enjoy texts vs. calls in today’s busy world.
A final piece of advice – if you’re nervous on connecting personally, don’t be. People you have a relationship with feel valued when you take the time to reach out personally.