Standing out is hard.
In any business, it’s tough to create separation from the competition. Of course, you need to meet the minimum requirements for doing business in our industry. Those are the table stakes that everyone else is doing. Don’t stop there.
What makes you stick above others? How can you create separation for yourself?
Start by thinking about anywhere you’ve been a long-term customer. Are you still a customer? Or, over time, have you slowly gravitated away? Often, when a customer leaves for a competitor, the reason is the same. It’s because they feel underappreciated. If they think you aren’t grateful for their business, they are going to look for someone who is — someone who makes them feel special.
The takeaway is to make an extra effort. Make sure your clients feel truly appreciated. It’s easy to send an email to thank someone for their business. And it’s great to send a hand-written card, especially as it’s a lost art. But the reality is, we need to differentiate ourselves by being unique.
One of the most important aspects to consider when developing a personal relationship, is to stand out in your efforts to make your client feel appreciated.
Last week I talked about being empathetic toward your clients. Use that empathy to view your relationship from the client’s point of view. You aren’t going to stand out by making a call or sending a letter. You need to understand where your client is and what’s important to them. Then tie your appreciation gift to that person.
Today, it’s not enough just to say thank you. Make a memory with your client and concentrate on that memory when you show appreciation. And remember that appreciation isn’t just a one-time expression. If you don’t want to lose long-term clients, stay in touch and remind them how important they are to you. You’ll add value to your overall relationship and, in the process, strengthen your business.
Do more than say thank you. Strengthen your relationship with your client by showing your appreciation in a more personal way.
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