Many of us started in business because it was our dream to have financial freedom. We wanted to be our own boss and do what we want to do when we want to do it. But for most, that dream got buried under a whole bunch of endless tasks, deadlines, and unexpected drama. That’s when many entrepreneurs start looking for shortcuts and hacks to be able to make more money with less effort. Which there is nothing wrong with that desire, but it is a problem when we forget the basics of business and how business works…
Time To Get Back To The Basics
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that “Business Is Built On Relationships With People”, not your cool email auto-responder, not your free report you offer, not your amazing product or service. It’s about the people.
You must stop thinking about your product or service and start making people your business. Yes, you need to provide a great product or service, but your main focus needs to be on the people with the money! People are loyal to people, so never forget that you are in the people business. Which leads to step #1 of getting back to the basics.
1. Build Meaningful Relationships. Notice I didn’t say “build relationships”? We all do that, but it’s a whole other things to build meaningful relationships. This means building strategic and quality relationships by treating people the way you would want to be treated. It means, going out of your way to make them feel like you care. Rachael Butts recently gave a great example of this with one of her clients, in her post Why You Can’t Automate the Design Process.
2. Create An Evergreen Experience. Once you build meaningful relationships, you don’t stop there. You must continue to show them that you care and that when they have an interaction with you, they are better off each time. This can be done by simply staying in touch once your product has been delivered or your service completed. You can start by sending them a card in the mail thanking them for their business and how much you enjoyed getting to know them. You can get together for coffee or lunch. I have done this with many of my clients and it really seems to add a depth to our ongoing business relationship. These human touch points can mean the world to them. You can also take advantage of your online tools like social media, email newsletters, etc. to keep you in front of them. This step for me has been huge in getting repeat business because I make it about them, not what I am offering.
3. Show’em What You Got. It’s important to remember you are in business and it’s not wrong to let your current and past customers and clients know that you are having a special or offering something new that you are excited about. When you have followed the first two steps, this 3rd step is so much easier. In fact, often they will ask you what you have been doing lately, which opens the door for you to give them an offer they can’t refuse. And don’t forget to reward them for their loyalty, give them discounts, bonuses, extra time, whatever is relevant to your business model.
When you are in business for the long run, these steps are crucial for your business growth. So many business owners focus on making the first sale and then move on to the next prospect. In doing so, they miss out on major profit by never following up with their past customers.
If you have found that your business’s growth has dropped, it’s time to take a look at what you are focusing your time on. Are you keeping in touch with your past clients? Could you send out an email right now and generate some extra income? It is very possible when it is done right! The nice thing about everything we have just talked about is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make these steps happen.
– Hopefully you are using some kind of CRM system to keep track of all your clients & customers. If not, make a list of all of them ASAP!
– Come up with a list of ways that you can reconnect with past clients & customers.
– If you can, try to setup some coffee dates with some of them.
– Have a plan ready. Maybe it’s a script of some kind, but be ready to ask the right questions that can open up the discussion for what you are doing. Sometimes it can be as simple as asking them “how are things going?”.
– Get a system in place that can keep you in front of them on a consistent basis. (Newsletters, social media, etc.)
– Remember the most important part…. You Are In The People Business!
In the comments:
What are some creative ways brands have kept in touch with you or you have kept in touch with your clients?