Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Send Your 2006 Client Thank You Letters Now

Last week I attended SIBOR’s 91st Anniversary Celebration. I was on the committee for the 90th anniversary and attended that function also.

I saw a lot of familiar faces but the atmosphere was different this year.
I couldn’t put my finger on it till a Broker said hello to me.
The very next statement from her was

“…it was different times and a different market last year when we were here” …
”The market has slowed down”…
”How’s business with you?”
Anyone who knows me and has asked me this question before knows how I answered her.

What does this have to do with Referrals?
90% of my business is referral based so when the market slows, my business doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if it is a seller’s or a buyer’s market.

How is that possible?

So here is my tip for today HAVE A PLAN!

Don't wait...

Send your 2006 client "Thank You" letters now

Don't wait until the end of the year or until January 2007 to thank your clients.

Do it NOW!

Start your "client appreciation" activities in the fall and make them an ongoing process.

The best place to start is with a "Thank You."

Here's an example.

"I would like to take this opportunity to "Thank You" for your business. I truly appreciate your confidence, faith and trust in me and the services of our company.
Thanks to clients like yourself, we can continue to enhance the quality services that you have come to expect and deserve.
We are committed to building our business by your referrals and recommendations. This is where I need your help and continued support.
If you know anyone who is considering purchasing a home or selling their existing home, I would appreciate if you would pass my name along to them.

I am dedicated to providing them with the same level of outstanding service I provided to you.

Thank You."

Haven’t Stayed in touch with your pre 2006 clients over the years? Send them a Reconnect / Humble Apology Letter.

This is where you begin to re-build your relationship with past clients. It's easy to feel anxious about what you will say when you call or write them a letter after 12 months or even 2 or 3 years of no contact.

Here’s an example to get you started:

“Dear Mr. Smith

I have to apologize!!!

I had an experience recently that compelled me to write you and APOLOGIZE for not keeping in closer contact with you since we worked together on the sale of your home. This experience made me realize just how important your relationship is to me, so I hope you will forgive me for not being good about keeping in touch.
The realization I'm referring to was due to a recent experience with a client. This person was such a pleasure to work with, I was reminded of you and how much I enjoyed working with you. I've made a decision recently about the way I do business, and from now on, I only want to do business with people like you!!...”

If you speak from your heart it’s easy to reconnect with past clients.

Select and execute a strategy for the next 4 months that expand your appreciation efforts.

By example:

Send every client a Thank you letter (see my Trashed Mail Tip)
Call and say Thank You to everyone who gave you a referral prospect

Invite a Raving Fan Advocate out to coffee, lunch or dinner.
Do two each week.

Gather your referral advocates and best clients for a Client/Advocate Holiday cocktail party at a local restaurant for an hour or two.

Send a Thank You/Looking Forward to 2007 letter.

Make your Client Appreciation efforts a process and ongoing event.

Make the best use of your time by being in contact with people who know you, like you and trust you.

Do it today.

Remember, people buy what's familiar and enjoy being appreciated.

PS. If you need a sample copy of a reconnect or thank you letters just give me a call or shoot me an email.

So, don't stay stuck in the same old patterns and strategies that haven't completely served you in the past.
The good news is that it doesn't take months or years to understand how things really work in creating a great referral business.
Thanks for spending 3 minutes with me.....
the best is yet to be!


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