There aren’t enough hours in the day and very few of us have stunt doubles, but there are several things you can do for your clients that require just a bit more time and effort—niceties that make the difference between doing your job and dazzling your clients. Naturally, it’s easier to dazzle with a large budget, but here are some ways you can impress without financial distress.
While the over-use of electronic communication has turned my once-pretty handwriting into hieroglyphics, the effort is still there. While I am as “green” as the next person, I burn through stationery like nobody’s business. Who doesn’t like receiving a card? How about sending one on the anniversary of one of your past clients’ closing dates? Are you connected with any of your clients on Facebook? Many people post their birth date within their profiles. Send him or her birthday card – a real card, you know, with a stamp (they still sell them).
Can you readily name your client’s spouse or partner? Can you remember the names of his or her children? Remembering names is always tricky business, but try this little tip: Once someone says his or her name, immediately think of someone with the same name, whether it’s someone you know or a celebrity. For instance, one of my favorite members has a husband named Barry. Upon introduction my first thought was, “Barry, Barry Gibb — the Bee-Gee’s!” Now, every year when I see him at the Annual Conference I can’t seem to get “Stayin’ Alive” out of my head. Whatever works, right?
Whether it’s a new colleague on our staff or a new member to our network, I try to go out of my way to make introductions—after all, isn’t meeting new people a rather important component to our business? Take the time to introduce your clients to members of the community, people who can help them get acclimated to the area. Get to know their interests and refer them to local businesses and organizations.
PRACTICING THE ‘SAW-THIS-AND-THOUGHT-OF-YOU’
At one time your client mentioned his passion for cooking Italian food. Clip and mail him that gnocchi recipe you saw in last week’s newspaper. It’s a small way of telling clients you are thinking of them and a good way for them to think of you, should they have any real estate needs.
DOING ONE BETTER
New to the area, your client asks you for some good restaurant recommendations. Rather than listing places, gather some menus from your favorite spots. He or she will appreciate having them on hand when they have a craving for Thai food or pizza. The restaurant’s proprietor will appreciate you referring the business (perhaps keeping you in mind for his or her real estate needs).
Feeling cared for is one of life’s greatest luxuries. Taking the time to make your clients feel appreciated is an investment without risk and filled with reward.
By Beth Kinsella, Member Solutions Managers