Get an e-mail address from clients who have
one. You almost can’t do business
without e-mail addresses these days. If you don’t have
a current address for every client, obtain one by |
Including a self-addressed stamped
postcard requesting it with your next mailing.
Dividing your client list among your
staff members and having them (or an intern) make
Asking all clients who call whether
their e-mail addresses have changed.
Help those who don’t have an address to
set up one. If a client doesn’t
yet have e-mail, offer to help. Microsoft’s Hotmail
) is an easy, free option. So is Gmail from
Google ( http://gmail.google.com
), but only new users who are invited to join by
existing members can get it right now.
Learn how your clients like to spend their
time and what’s important to them.
Review profiles and tax returns of
clients that generate most of your revenue. Cull the
following information: Occupation, industry,
professional associations, education, goals,
concerns, marital status, religious affiliation (if
volunteered), date of birth, clubs, hobbies and
interests. Each time you talk with clients, try to
note two new facts that add to your understanding of
who they are and what they need/want from you.
Develop your message.
Knowing what your clients care about
gives you an excellent reason to be in touch with
them. Look up online information they might enjoy
knowing. For help getting letters in shape and
sending them, consult resources such as Sales
and WriteExpress Easy Letters ( www.writeexpress.com
Map out a communications calendar.
Fill in a date book with important
events to contact selected clients about: quarterly
reviews, annual meetings, birthdays, anniversaries
and milestones, aiming for at least one reason per
month. Organize how you’ll follow through on those
dates—face-to-face meetings, personal or conference
calls, surveys, your Web site, Web conferences,
online chats or by sending audio/video tapes,
letters, voice mail, e-mail and articles.
Keep your eyes and ears open.
Save additional ideas in a “client
communications” file. Use SurfSaver ( www.surfsaver.com
) to organize online articles in folders
(market-related information, hobbies/interests,
trivia and factoids, for example). Get business
acquaintances besides staff to look for and send you
valuable news, too. Don’t make e-mail your sole
means of communication—and never send something
readers will view as spam.