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The 10-Minute Approach to Building Stronger Client Relationships in As Little As 20 Days

Apr 8, 2015

Business owners generally have a long-term view, which is one reason that client relationship-building communications need to be woven into the business’ marketing plan.

Frequently, they are not.

This article provides a simple 3-step approach to relationship building with clients that can be completed in less than 10 minutes a day.

Step 1: Choose 20 current, active clients. They can be your “top 20” clients (those who bring in the most revenue for you)… your “tenured” clients (those who have been with you the longest)… your “favorite” clients (you just enjoy working with them!)… or any combination of the above.

Step 2: Each weekday for the next four weeks, hand-write a letter to one of the people on the list. The letter should follow this formula:

Dear [First Name],

[Initial thank you]

[Proof paragraph – one or two sentences]

[Repeat thanks]

[Your signature]

Of this, most of your 10-minutes will be on your “proof paragraph” – the one or two sentences that best summarizes the relationship from your point-of-view, as the person writing the letter. Surprise and delight the recipient with this paragraph.

Here’s a sample letter:

Dear Barry,

A quick note to say “thank you” for being such a great client. My team and I are honored to know you both as a client and a person.

In particular, I love that you demand innovation from us in helping you reach your sales growth goals. It raises our game, each and every time.

Again, thank you for your business and support.

David

That’s the letter… no P.S. about the next client-only training event, next month’s new product launch or an appeal to buy before the new prices come into effect.

One can use the text as shown, with the only change being the words after “In particular, I love… ” and the sentence that follows it.

As an option, one may add another paragraph after the “Proof paragraph”. This is the “Special Benefit” paragraph that conveys a benefit that is reserved for those who receive this letter.

One example of a “special benefit” is direct access to the writer on his/her unpublished cell phone line. In this example, it is critical that the telephone number not be shown on any website, business card or letterhead since this “special benefit” is all about exclusivity.

Here’s the revised sample letter.

Dear Barry,

A quick note to say “thank you” for being such a great client. My team and I are honored to know you both as a client and a person.

In particular, I love that you demand innovation from us in helping you reach your sales growth goals. It raises our game, each and every time.

I’ve included my personal card with my private cell phone number and invite you to use this number to reach me. This phone is with me always and I am the only person who answers it. If I cannot take your call, please leave me a voicemail message and I will call you back.

Again, thank you for your business and support.

David

After 20 days, one will have mailed 20 different letters and received some delightful responses from the letter recipients – which should be sufficient proof to pick another 20 names and repeat the process again… and again… and again.

Three final thoughts: (1) Invest in some nice notecards and matching envelopes; (2) If the private phone number idea appeals, have that information printed in black ink on a high-quality white stock and (3) Hand-write (or print, if your cursive writing is illegible, as mine is) and mail with a real stamp.

David Foley consults and teaches direct response marketing skills, with particular emphasis on postal mail. His website is [http://www.thestrategicmailingcoach.com]