How many times have old relationships passed you by? How many perfectly good peer or client contacts been allowed to “expire” through neglect as you say to yourself “I just don’t have time?” and chase only the hot targets; or self consciously think “I have nothing to call about”.
Deep down we know that allowing relationships to age and die, we are quite literally throwing away marketing efforts and money, and creating more difficult, more expensive marketing work for the months and years ahead.
But in our busy “get it now” society, many of us lose sight of the power of a well-maintained network of long-term client and industry relationships with not just potential “buyers” but also potential “referrers” or “influencers”.
I was chatting to a friend of mine in Singapore last week and he had spent the last 2 weeks chasing up old clients and industry contacts, and so far, out of a few coffees and conversations he had seeded two solid leads for new business. These were people he had started to let slip through his fingers, people with whom he was no longer “front of mind”. But a little honest, caring relationship management went a long way for him… I am sure it can work for all of us.
Good relationships, on both an individual and a corporate level hold an immense power in almost any size of town or city as most professional services purchases are made based on trust. And the best and fastest travelling forms of trust are built on referrals.
When someone refers you or your company, they pass on the trust and belief that they have in you to the new contact. They allow you to enter your relationship with the new person at a level of trust comparable to that of the referrer, and most of the time that is a lot closer to the point of conversion than you would start on your own steam.
So this week, how about thinking about your personal, client and industry relationships and how you could manage them more effectively. Perhaps even take the time to write down all of the relationships that you, as an individual within your business want to make sure you don’t neglect, and schedule them into what’s left of your year. Pick a couple of communications techniques you are comfortable with and get on with it.
… After all it is only 13 weeks until another year has passed us by.