Based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Stephen M. Timms serves as vice president of strategic programs at International Golden Group. In this position, Stephen M. Timms is responsible for maintaining the company’s complex technological systems and growing strategic relationships and business with international firms.
Strong strategic relationships are an asset to any business. However, these are not built in a day or after one networking seminar. They take time and investment. Communicating openly and personally is the first step to building strong relationships with your existing and potential clients.
With regard to existing clients, it is all about making actual contact. Send them a newsletter or even better, call them to let them know what you are doing for them. Tell them about the excellent service you’re providing; that you’ve double-checked their orders or that their packages are being shipped with special care, or that they can easily reach your customer care department at any time of the day. Keep it personal. Remember special occasions such as birthdays or wedding anniversaries and send a card ahead of the holidays. Write handwritten notes to old customers to check up on them, or even schedule lunch together. When you do meet, use such platforms for business development and get referrals. Putting a personal touch on communication builds customer loyalty.
For potential clients, it’s all about keeping lines of communication open. After a networking event, follow up. This could be as simple as sending a “nice to meet you” email, and later on a notification that you have added them to a newsletter list. Keep such relationships warm by periodically reaching out. A fail-safe way of doing this is by sharing useful information. Found a book, article, or workshop invitation the other person may be interested in? Pass it on.