Keeping in touch without being a pain in the neck!Do you find yourself having to meet quota marketing “numbers” set by your company—you know, calling on fifteen to twenty professional referral sources per week so that you can fill out that dreaded corporate report at week’s end. Do you find yourself questioning how much of a “pain” you are when you stop by un-announced to one of your referral sources? It’s all about relationships, right? So it really shouldn’t be a problem visiting people you have a relationship with.
Is it possible to call on prospects and potential referral sources too much? The answer is a resounding “NO”. You should never give up on your regular call patterns—but you may just have to take a look at the way you are communicating. If you’ve nurtured the relationship right, your referral sources shouldn’t be opposed to having you stop by and giving them a “breather” from an otherwise crazy day.
Just incase you’re still unsure about how to keep in touch without crossing the line, here are five guidelines for keeping in touch:
1. Assess the potential return
Keeping in touch and staying top of mind with your referral sources takes time—always a shortage in our business. Before you put a referral source on your “toplist” of visits, ask yourself—how many referrals will this contact give you over the next month? Over the next year? Is it worth your time to make yourself “top-of-mind” with this source? Freeing yourself from those with limited potential allows you more time to go after the higher priorities.
2. Provide a value to your visits
If your conversations begin with “how many people have you got for me this week?” it’s a good bet you are bothering them. Make an effort to provide value. This could be in the form of information or trends (in written form) about the industry or their company. If you have a good relationship with them, just calling them or bringing in their favorite lunch as a friend may be enough. If you bring some sort of value, they will look forward to seeing you. Don’t rely on your good company as the proposed value every time.
3. Grow their knowledge of you
In support of keeping in touch more often, think about services that they may not know that you have—it’s not a bad idea to remind them from time to time. Again, if you’ve done your upfront work and built a strong relationship, they will always be receptive to your visit, hearing about new services and they will be open to other ways that you could help them.
4. Change your communication techniques
Don’t get stuck into a boring routine—everyone likes variety. Try hand-written notes, newsletters or emailed articles as a change from the walk-in visit or phone call. These will also give you a reason (and topic of discussion) when you do make a personal appearance. A hardcopy of anything these days gives you a better chance of staying top-of-mind or “top-of-desk” as I like to refer to it.
5. Build the relationship!
When the “smoke clears” from all your marketing efforts, it’s all about the relationship. Honesty, sincerity and true value are the keys to a good relationship. You want a relationship that is meaningful and beneficial to both of you. This is the type of relationship that is almost immune to outside forces, such as a competitor coming in and taking away your connection.
As a marketer in one of the most competitive industries in existence, you can’t take the chance of not contacting your good referrals on a regular basis or someone else will. Follow the guidelines listed above and you will make good decisions on when and how to keep in touch on a regular basis.
©2014 Howard Manns All Rights Reserved firstname.lastname@example.org. Howard is a Professional Speaker and Healthcare Leadership & Marketing Consultant with over 30 years experience, http://www.phdmkt.com
Originally Posted on Linked In By:Howard Manns
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