Staying top of mind with customers is an important part of relationship building and retention. Striking the right balance of keeping in touch involves a thoughtful and customized approach to the type and frequency of communication. In this month's Executive Take, we asked five association executives and connection experts:
How often do you touch base with existing clients and what has been your best strategy in ensuring your organization is top of mind?
“Whenever I begin working with a client, I ask for their preference in terms of frequency and format of communication. Also, if there isn't a project/sponsorship/event I'm working on at the moment with a client, I like to reach out at least monthly with an article of interest in relation to their organization or a link to a virtual event/webinar that helps them with their professional goals."
Lori Zoss Kraska, MBA, CFRE
Growth Owl, LLC | Founder and Chief Principal
"Retention is critical in today's ever-changing sales environment. You are 60-70% more likely to retain a client compared to the 15% chance you will close a new one. I like to touch base once per month but vary the outreach. I love companies like SugarWish.com for these types of activities. I am NOT a fan of sending Christmas cards and Christmas gifts. If you wait until Christmas, I will have beaten you to the punch for 11 months."
RyanDohrn.com | Global Sales and Marketing Advisor
"Touching base with clients is a great use of time. It is not uncommon to get the question of how often one should touch base with clients. Simply put, "ask them!" One size does not fit all when it comes to communication. Do they want weekly / monthly / quarterly status? Do they like bullet points? Do they want a presentation or webinar? Once you have landed a new client, it is time to deliver on what you have promised. Depending on the size/scope of their project or membership, delivering timely updates on project status as well as reminders of benefits of membership are always good uses of time. Clients want to be thought of. Forwarding articles of interest show you have taken the time to think about their area of interest."
Ready, Set, Launch, LLC® | Author, Speaker, Trainer & Career Business Development Coach
"I often think of a two times a month approach of touching base. The mix is important - the type of touch and the type of content to stay connected. Success can be found by sharing non sales information about the industry, sharing data and stats about the organization, and intentional meetings for midyear touch points to assess if the current sales plan for the customer is effective."
MCI USA | President, Association Solutions
"I believe keeping your company top of mind is more related to actual results. When a sponsorship is effective in supporting the goals of the sponsor organization, the ability to develop additional business is higher. Once a sponsorship is secured, the tendency is to be more reactive than proactive with regular contacts. Improve this by committing to a short, directed message on a regular basis that is relevant to the sponsor."
The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) | Vice President, Industry Services