The customer is the main character of your story.
If you want to engage people in every aspect of your business, you need to find ways to show that you understand them, know them, and are willing to remember the small details over long periods of time. Because the truth is, relationships are built through meaningful interactions. And so the more you can cultivate, nurture, and “engineer” these meaningful interactions, the more engaged your customers will be.
For the past decade and more, I have worked with thousands of salespeople at my company, Usherpa, helping them “remember the little things.” In fact, our main product is solely dedicated to helping real estate agents and loan officers remember to wish their clients happy birthday, or even remember their pet’s name. These small, seemingly insignificant moments are how the top 1% of salespeople end up building such powerful and long-standing relationships—and are the secret to creating countless opportunities from their database.
Here are 7 small things you can do for your customers that will show them how much you care.
1. Remember the details of the deal.
Customers hate repeating information.
One of the fastest ways to show a customer how much their business means to you is by remembering the fine-print details of every interaction. In our case, we see this with loan officers who are diligent in keeping track of their clients. For example, right now during COVID, a lot of people are looking to refinance their homes so they can spend their time quarantined remodeling their kitchen, or on other home improvement projects. Being able to not only immediately show that you remember the details of their original loan, but are also aware of how home prices may have fallen or risen in their particular area, shows their business wasn’t “just another client” to you.
Remembering is a form of caring, and makes clients feel like they’re being taken care of.
2. Check in during any and all important dates.
Any important date can be a moment of celebration.
Many of the highest performing salespeople, in any industry, are masters of checking in with their clients and customers in all the little moments when it matters most. This could be an anniversary, a birthday, a personal achievement, or even something as specific as knowing that your client has had the same assistant for a full year (when you knew they had been struggling to find a good assistant for quite some time). These important dates hold meaning in people’s lives, and so by acknowledging them on time, customers can’t help but feel like you care deeply about them as people.
And that’s what matters.
3. Network connections and references.
A great way of building immediate trust with new customers is to reference mutual connections and/or the individual who put you both in contact.
Network effects are powerful. We hold our circles of friends in high regard, and so there is a lot to be said about “knowing the same people.” A bond is formed, and an unspoken understanding occurs between both parties—acknowledging that, because you share people in common, you’ll be seen as respectful and honest.
The more you can integrate the two, the more likely the person will be to want to invest in the relationship.
4. Asking questions about kids, pets, etc.
It’s one thing to get to know the person, but it’s another to get to know the details of their life.
If you’ve ever heard a good salesperson on the phone with a client they’ve had for years and years, you’d think they grew up together. The conversation entails everything from family to kids to dogs to after-school activities to lone-time hobbies like hiking or playing the guitar. There is a tremendous amount of information there, and none of it goes unnoticed.
Taking time to learn about the person’s life, and not just their business wants and needs, ends up paying dividends long into the future.
It also can lead to lifelong friendships.
5. Finding a mutual love for certain hobbies.
There’s a reason why taking a client out golfing, or to a baseball game, has become such a cliché.
People like spending time with people who share their interests. Period.
The takeaway here isn’t for you to become something you’re not, or pretend to like golf just so you can “close more friends.” Instead, take the time to get to know your clients as human beings and look for genuine, authentic shared interests. Maybe you both listen to the same music. Maybe you both love the same shows on Netflix. These small details, even if they only make up for a minute or two of conversation, can end up being great ways to remain in contact with someone long after business has been done.
6. Remember their job, employer, and career goals.
LinkedIn makes it easy to keep up with people’s professional lives.
But what shows an extra layer of attention is by remembering why people are in the careers they are in the first place. If they leave their current job, should you reach out and offer them some words of encouragement? Or should you congratulate them, knowing they had been unhappy and most likely found something more interesting? Knowing how to feel about events like these, and being able to quickly show your support (in either direction) can mean a lot to the person on the receiving end.
7. Be engaged during large upcoming life events.
Anyone can “be engaged” when business is on the line.
But it’s much more meaningful if you can be engaged when the outcome has nothing to do with you or your own self-interests. For example, let’s say your client’s child is going away to college. Sending the client a quick “good luck with Tommy at college” email will position you as much more than just a salesperson. This positioning will result in referrals and repeat business.
Finding small moments like these to show you care outside of the realm of the “professional relationship,” will help them remember who you are forever.
And as a result, whenever they need your product or service, they’ll want to work with you.
Remember: it’s never about you (or your next deal)—it’s always about them and what’s going on in their life. That makes all the difference.