Yesterday I was speaking via Skype to a consultant far, far away. (Isn’t Skype great?)
She had a list of clients she hadn’t seen in a while and she wanted to know what my thoughts were about contacting them.
“Yes, yes, do it!” was my response.
She was nervous because she didn’t know if they’d want to hear from her.
Renewing relations with clients can be easy
I find that our business is so intimate that it’s a lot like connecting with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while.
“Make it easy on yourself,” I said. “It’s not about booking that next appointment, it’s about connecting, checking in. It can be as easy as ‘I’ve been thinking about you! How are things going? I know it’s been a while but I wanted to catch up and hear how you’re doing.”
It’s casual. It’s not a marketing call. You genuinely want to know how she is. When you take the pressure of turning the phone call into an appointment, you’ll relax. And you also may book an appointment!
I told this colleague what my experience had been with phone calls. I’ll call someone up who I haven’t seen in a while and often times they’ll say, “I was just thinking about you!” Like minds, right? And while they’ll be happy to fill you in with what’s going on with them, very often they will say, “I had such a great experience working with you. I’d love to make another appointment. Are you available any time soon?”
We provide so much value
My colleague recalled a recent conversation with the mutual friend that referred one of these lapsed clients to her. Her friend told her, “Oh, I ran into your client and your name came up. She told me your work with her had been fantastic!”
“I forgot the value I brought her,” she confessed. This is so classic!
I replied, “When our clients applaud us, we don’t linger in the glory long enough.”
She said, “What a blinding flash of the obvious!”
We both laughed. While our work may seem easy to us, the results we create for others is often transforming. But we forget.
I have two remedies for this forgetfulness. Whenever a client sends me an email singing my praises, I cut and paste it to a Client Testimonial document. If ever I’m not valuing myself I can pull that out and read it. In fact, reading it may inspire me to call a client up and have a friendly check-in. These are relationships I want to keep and grow.
Another practice I have is to write weekly in a “This Week I…” journal. It’s a notebook that I devote to chronicling the highlights of the week. It’s a perfect place to share with myself some things that happened in an appointment that I was especially happy with. Or I may record what a client said during the appointment that meant so much to me. It’s a simple practice. Putting it in your own handwriting is a great way to ground the experience and keep it from blowing away like tumbleweed in the wind.
It’s important to remember the good stuff that comes from your work together. It will help you make calls, give presentations and speak to others about what you do. It gives you confidence and keeps your confidence high. Plus it’s so much easier to tell someone about the difference that you made for someone by sharing an actual client story.
How about it? Would you consider keeping a running list of things your clients say or write about them in a journal? It’s a gift you give yourself.