Do you have a system for closing your completed contracts and following up with your clients? Without a thoughtful plan in place, these things will easily get forgotten and you will miss the best opportunities for marketing your firm.
With a little thought and effort you can leave a great final impression, make yourself memorable and increase the potential for more referrals.
Develop a logical system for your practice that ensures that the project or casework is completed to the client’s satisfaction. This might be something as simple as a checklist for you to follow through, a client survey or feedback form, or a simple blank card requesting a testimonial. This information is critical for your business—it is direct feedback from your target market.
Say “thank you”
This post does a great job of covering the necessity of appropriately thanking business colleagues. Additionally, gratitude is essential when concluding business with a client or when receiving a client referral.
Once again, create a system for this to happen easily in order to reduce the hurdles. Buy notably elegant thank-you cards and hand write a personal note. There is no substitute, including e-mail. Here are a few great options: clean and retro Rothko cards, elegant and feminine letterpress cards, and the always classic Crane cards. If you are currently out of thank-you cards, buy some now while you are thinking about it. You will never be sorry you had a few spare.
Take a few minutes and consider what type of gift you will send as a thank you for a referral. I prefer something personal instead of a generic basket. Try to find something such as a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, a great book you talked, or something that indicates that you were listening.
Extra marketing details
Finally, create a consistent and high quality brand throughout all your correspondence. This includes all your identity pieces for your firm. Also consider the supporting items, such as your fax cover sheets (if you still use them), invoices, and proposals, as well as your mailing labels and notepads.
Your final detail should be to calendar a follow up with your client in 90 days. Check in without any pretense, just to keep the lines of communication open. These seemingly minor ideas won’t go unnoticed and will help to persuade your clients of your sophisticated reputation.