It's Time to Unleash Your Inner Oprah
When I worked in Corporate America, I worked with clients in a male-dominated industry where generations of families had been in leadership and influential positions for several years. I didn't have a prior track record when I started with them. I didn't have credibility. I had to find a way to get these key decision makers and influencers to trust me and the only way to do it was to build it over time. Since I had no influence or ties in the industry, I had to find a different way to connect.
I learned about their families, interests, hobbies, causes, and meaningful experiences. Whenever given the opportunity, I’d find a way to support them. If a client mentioned in a conversation a favorite restaurant or bakery, I’d make a note of it and set up a special delivery. If they had a fundraiser or cause that was important to them, I’d donate or share the information with some of my contacts to help raise awareness. I didn’t promote myself or our company. I just showed up.
Well, guess what happened? They started to notice. They saw that I was invested in supporting them and that I was sincere. They started to schedule meetings where they’d ask for more information about how we could work together or partner on additional business. It was also the beginning of some long-term business relationships that have since turned into long-term friendships.
You see, when we make the investment in our clients it shows them how much we value them and their business. Imagine waking up every morning to someone who really and sincerely appreciates you. Perhaps you have that now. Now imagine getting to work with people like that each and every day. People who want to pay you because they value what you have to offer because you understand and value them. Not bad, huh?
Why not find a way to support something that’s important to your client that’s not necessarily business related. For example, if you have a client who participates in fundraisers, offer to sponsor or bring in some sponsors.
Don’t have a budget? No problem. Find an article, video or photo online that features something (or someone) important to your customer. If your client is a Bruno Mars fan, maybe source a lesser known video or audio recording of one of his songs. If you have a client who’s interested in working with a new market, source an article that may be helpful and send it over with a quick note. Even a simple,
Hi [Your Client]!
I ran across this and thought it was great. Thought you might find it helpful/enjoyable/interesting, etc.
Chat with you soon!
Got it? Now it’s your turn. Have fun with it and let me know how it goes. I watched one client use this approach and it resulted in a client booking more work… a lot more work. Remember that’s not the point of the exercise, but an increase in sales is often the result.
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