Last week I popped into my favourite shoe shop in London where I have bought some shoes in the past. I tend to only go in there when I am passing through that part of town, and it’s likely it’s only three or four times a year.  I happened to be wearing the comfortable pair of moccasins that I had purchased from the retailer about six months earlier. On arriving in the shop, the owner smiled, greeted me with warm welcome and made a comment about the shoes I was wearing, “I recognise the shoes – never remember names, but always shoes“!  That fleeting interaction had a powerful effect – he had made his customer feel special.

Wellies and Flowers

Although I did not buy anything last week, his interaction with me (which cost him nothing) sealed the deal for a future potential purchase.  This is an example of how to make your client feel special.  So here are my top three tips:

1. Keep in touch

People don’t like being pestered, especially if they think that you just want to sell them something. So you consider using the ‘saw this and thought of you’ approach. It reinforces the point that you know enough about your client and their interests to keep them in your mind.  Take a few minutes every day to read social media, the newspaper, or trade publications. If you spot something that you think will appeal to them, forward a link or send a copy of it along with a quick note.

2. See clients as human beings not revenue generators

Behind every sale is a human being  and they appreciate being special and unique  So as part of your preparation to take action on point #1 think about what you know about them as people.  Make sure your business has a well organised CRM system, particularly if your clients are likely to have multiple points of contact within your business.  An easy way to begin this process is if you meet someone new and they give you their business card; write a couple of notes on the back about what you recall about your conversation with that person. It can be extremely useful as you develop that relationship over time.

3. Reward their loyalty

Unless you are operating a monopoly, it is likely that you client has a degree of choice. And if they choose to do business with your company, think about easy ways that you can reward their loyalty.  Its not always about discounts or financial rewards, it could be an invitation to an exclusive event or even ask for their input on a new product you are developing, so that they feel they have had a say in what is being created.   A hand written note or card expressing your appreciation for them as a client, can really make a difference.