Ann Marie and I had a good day out with clients today – starting off with breakfast with a new client, then a quick stop for some face time with a long-standing client, followed by another afternoon meeting with another existing client – with the purpose of just talking with them to see if they had any feedback for us, concerns etc.
It would be very easy for us to communicate with them through e-mail or even on the phone, but nothing beats our face-to-face interactions with clients. With the social media becoming more and more prevalent in our personal and business lives, it would be even easier to interact with clients via our networks but that would not be an effective way to do business.
A majority of our clients are in mature, established businesses that don’t fully embrace the social media aspect. Although they are becoming more aware of the power of social media, their main means of connection is through personal interactions and over the telephone. They would never send us a direct message on Twitter or post a comment on our Facebook wall. So for a public relations company that needs to bridge both the new and traditional ways of doing business, we find that nothing beats face-to-face interaction. Old tactics still work in our constantly connected world.
We usually don’t meet with clients in person each month but strive for those meetings each quarter. People buy from people that they know and like. Here are three quick things to remember when you are interacting with your clients:
1) Nothing beats face-to-face contact – There’s a reason that so many deals are struck on a golf course.
2) Don’t waste a clients time – Have a specific agenda and stick to it. Be cognizant of their non-verbal cues that you have overstayed your welcome.
3) Ask for feedback – Feedback is good no matter how bad it stings. There may be some underlying issue or concern that you can address immediately.
At the end of the day, it is important to work ON your business as it is to work IN your business. Don’t get so wrapped up in social media communications that you forget to connect with your clients.
Founded in 2008, AMM Communications is a St. Louis-based public relations and marketing firm that provides public relations, marketing, crisis communication, social media and sales management training for small- and mid-sized financial institutions, professional service firms and manufacturing companies. For more information, please navigate to www.ammcommunications.com or call 314.485.9499.