Show some business-love.

Valentine’s Day is a special day set aside to show appreciation for those we love; however, most of us know it’s important to appreciate your loved ones throughout the year.

The same is true with your business clients. The secret to building and maintaining solid business relations is to be professional, personable, and to express your appreciation often.

Below are a few tips on how you can “show some business love” and strengthen the tie between your clients and your business:

Get to know them. Find out about your clients’ birthdays, families, favorite hobbies, sports teams, etc.  With this information you can:

  • Understand how to tailor your product or service to best suit your individual client’s needs or alert the client to new products or services you know he or she will like.
  • Send your client a birthday card.
  • Finish a business call with small talk about one of your client’s personal interests. This will create a stronger connection between you and the client and make him or her more likely to maintain business with you.

Call or send a card. A more personable way to show you appreciate your client is to:

  • Send a handwritten thank-you note by mail. Imagine what a pleasant surprise it would be to receive a personal thank-you card among a pile of bills.
  • Phone the client to say thank you. A phone call is also a good idea if you want to ask a question or communicate with your client about a problem that arises. It will resolve the issue more quickly than written communication and make the client feel as though you’re taking good care of him or her.

Be a giver . . . and a receiver. Going above and beyond the call of duty for your clients is a surefire way to keep them loyal. However, you can also:

  • Give a guarantee and then stick to it.
  • Offer free tips or information relative to the clients’ needs via email or your company blog.
  • Put your clients in the driver’s seat by asking for feedback. Showing an interest in customer opinions makes your clients feel valued and will also show them you’re looking for ways to improve what you offer to better suit their needs.

Following these tips requires a little extra effort, but what you get in return is worth it. Instead of having a client list that’s full of short-term flings, you’ll be building long-term relationships that will pay off time and time again.