Entrepreneur - - By Alyssa Gregory

5 Ways to Maintain Client Relationships Long After the Work is Complete

In one of my posts from last week, I talked about how going beyond great and getting to wow requires an excellent experience for the client that should continue even after the work is complete. A comment on that post by Andrew Cooper inspired me to write this follow-up.

Andrew said:

Maybe you could write up a blog post on developing the client relationship after the work has been completed? The work is done, there isn’t really anything else the client would need from the company so there isn’t really the option of trying to sell some add-on service to the existing client, you’d just like to keep a healthy business-to-client relationship going.

Here are five ways to keep the relationship going, even when there isn’t a clear need you can fill.

Send Newsletters

If you have a company newsletter or other regular mailing, ask clients if you can add them to your list. A simple email update every month or two can be an effective way to stay on a client’s mind, even when you’re not doing any specific work with the company.

Even if you don’t have a formal mailing list, you can still send out periodic updates to key clients from time-to-time to help keep the relationships alive.

Clip Items of Interest

As you read the newspaper, blogs, books or any other business reading material, think about your clients’ businesses, their own clients and their industry. When you come across an item that would interest a client, send it along with a note.

Over time, you will train your mind to scan through clients’ keywords and be able to pluck out items of interest quickly and easily. This doesn’t have to take much time and can be a great way to remind past clients that you’re there.

Chat ‘Em Up on Social Networks

If your clients are on social networks you participate in, make connections and stay in touch. Social media is great for quick check-ins, and it can also give you a way to stay in tune with what’s going on in their businesses so you can be ready to offer your services when the need arises.

Make a Call

Simple, obvious, but a very effective way of keeping the relationship going. Of course, this is one to do in moderation and may even be more effective if you email first to give the client a heads up that you will be calling to check in.

Send Referrals

We commonly think of referrals as client-to-vendor benefits, but why can’t you refer others to your clients’ businesses? Just as you make it a habit to mentally run through clients’ keywords as you read, do the same when you’re networking. If you encounter someone who could benefit from a client’s product or service, make the introduction.

Throughout all of your interactions, don’t forget to ask the client what he/she has going on. There is the potential for new work at any time with a past client who you enjoyed a successful and productive working relationship with. Stay alert for an opening and be ready to jump in.

What do you do to keep a client relationship going when the work is over?

Image credit: enjoymath

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