The other day I posted about welcoming new contacts into your world by tweaking the way you respond to ‘interruptions’ in your day. If you are open to it, it can be exciting to meet new people and you never know what you may learn from each other. In my world in particular, developing new relationships is key to future business growth.
I was listening to a Six Pixels pod-cast by Mitch Joel and Joseph Jaffe talking about the absence of real conversations and how people open the door to a relationship, only to find that their conversant (or commenter in the case of a blog) has disappeared…radio silence “Hello, are you still there??” Got me thinking, how often do we inadvertently do that to clients or new business contacts? How often do we deliver a piece of work and move on to the next client or contact without checking back and asking “Hey, how was that? Did that get you to what you needed? Is there anything else you need help with?”
Meanwhile, your best clients are no doubt being actively courted by your competitors. They are being asked about their business challenges, about the gaps in service, about the areas that bug them about the service providers they work with today(A.K.A. YOU!) What are they not getting from their current service providers that would like to get? Where could they be getting more value? What could help them advance their business interests further?
My real challenge is this – what’s stopping you from exploring those questions with them yourself? From asking them how else you could step up your game and become irreplaceable in their eyes. Or, if you were trying to win this client away from your competition, what else could you offer them to convince them to move (and then offer it to them to stay). How can you improve their business beyond solid delivery of the expected? How can you keep them aware of, and confident in your continued attraction to serving their business? If they weren’t working with you today, who would they choose to work with and why?
Don’t be afraid to ask your existing contacts – how can I be of better service to you? Their answers may surprise you and you will help deepen and extend your relationship with them. And just because you are confident that what you deliver to them today is of very high quality, and you have a good relationship with your existing clients, doesn’t mean those relationships can’t be strengthened by some extra time and TLC.