Stay In Touch…

I work with a variety of architecture, engineering, and design firms on their business development strategy and implementation. While each client is different, with their own set of strengths, weaknesses, and cultural habits, there are several, reoccurring themes, that seem to present themselves that impact the firm’s business development efforts. One is consistency in staying in touch with key contacts. It baffles me how prevalent not staying in touch is.

I recently started working with a former client, who over the course of the three years of not working together, had lost touch with many of the firms very important prospects and clients. Obviously, when you don’t stay in touch with clients, you lose out on work with them. In a matter of 30 minutes, we reached out to two of the former clients via email and have reconnect meetings set with both. They were happy to hear from us. I anticipate my client will be working with both former clients soon.

I work with a different client who is very good at staying in touch. When clients leave their organization, we reach out to see if we can help them at their new organization. Often, we are delighted to get new work with a new client from a former contact. This client doesn’t have a big budget to be able to use tactics like sponsoring / attending conferences / hosting dinners, so we use phone and email – and it works brilliantly.

I work with yet another client who’s very hit/miss on staying in touch. Within our annual plan, we have a goal to send out 1 eBlast per month. Sometimes 4-5 months go by without any eBlast. The firm’s principals have weekly goals to call specific contacts – again sometimes months go by without any calls made. This up/down approach creates a feast/famine situation, and also indicates to prospects that the firm may be unreliable, inconsistent.

It’s important to put a process in place that helps you stay in touch consistently – maintain a CRM database with accurate phone numbers and email addresses. Send out periodic emails – eBlasts, individual emails, and call your prospects and clients to check in with them. Go visit with your clients over lunch or coffee, or at their office if you don’t have a big budget. Nowadays, clients are happy to have a brief Teams call to catch up. Set reminders to stay in touch.

Staying in touch is such a simple thing to do to maintain new work coming in the door.

Go Grow!