Maintaining a Relationship

Quick post for you all on this Monday morning, but it’s an important one. I wanted to share with you a letter that I recently received from the salesperson who sold me my car:

Dear Russell,

Hello!  I hope you do not mind my staying in touch with you!  It has been about six months since you purchased your new vehicle and I just want you to know I am here, at your service.

I hope you will give me a call any time you, your family or your friends have any automotive needs or questions.  I am here to help.  Remember, my commitment is to be of service to you.

Sincerely,
— HIS NAME HERE —
— HIS COMPANY —
— HIS PHONE & EMAIL —

There’s nothing fancy here, no sales pitches or angles. Just a simple message to say hello and see if there’s anything I need. Yes, there is a subtle reference to potential referrals, but that’s an important part of sales, and most of the time, people do need a little prodding before they’d refer a personal contact.

To me, a letter like this is a critical component on maintaining a valuable relationship with your customers, and this can easily be applied by sales and service staff for any sports organization. You don’t always need a reason to reach out to your season ticket holders. Sometimes just saying hello is enough to make them feel valued and important. It’s also a great way to casually remind them about your product, and that alone can lead to incremental sales and increased customer lifetime value at practically no cost to you.

6 thoughts on “Maintaining a Relationship

  • February 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm
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    It doesn’t take a lot these days to make a client feel special and it’s not expensive to do. From a fan’s perspective it’s critical that teams make them feel special because being a fan is expensive. Everyone is evaluating expenses and only incurring those that are absolutely necessary or make them feel GREAT. Sports isn’t necessary – but teams can make their ticket holders feel great for not much cash. And what a creative endeavor to undertake!

  • February 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm
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    Agreed although it can also have negative impact if done wrong. Ex. I had my car serviced at Toyota last week. Within 24hrs I received a call/voicemail to make sure my service went well. Almost immediately after I received ANOTHER call (from the same person) making sure my service went well. Now I question how genuine their attempt was as they’re obviously scrolling through a list and the same person called me twice in a row (without realizing it).

  • February 15, 2010 at 10:19 am
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    This is great, thanks for sharing. I’d almost suggest going the extra step and personally hand-writing the note yourself, instead of printint it out on letterhead and just signing it. I’ve found that a short note like this can be done relatively quickly and absolutely goes a long way to forging a strong relationship with your client, especially a new one.

  • February 16, 2010 at 10:46 pm
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    I couldn’t agree more with your assessment on this. Sales is all about relationships — let me expand, LIFE is about relationships. It’s more than just getting to know a person, making the sale (and getting what you want) and leaving it at that. What if that was the way you treated your relationships with your friends and family? You’ve got to do things that will extend the relationship — genuine, selfless things.

    One of the best systems I’ve seen on customer relations comes from Harvey Mackay who wrote (amongst others) the book “Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.” It’s called the Mackay 66 and is basically a questionnaire that has 66 questions on it that is required to be filled out by each salesperson about their clients. But they can’t just ask the client the questions; they have to know their clients and answer the questions. It has proven to forge lasting relationships and thus make more sales.

    Since this is a sports business blog, I point to the fan loyalty you see with teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, the Cubs, the Celtics, the Packers, the Red Wings, the Canadiens and think about how they have built this loyalty. These teams have been around for generations and have used this time to build that loyalty. And I would be comfortable guessing that much of this loyalty comes from the relationships that have been built between fans and the organization (not just the team).

    This is a huge advantage and is a result of the age and tradition of the franchises. They have had years to learn about fans/clients.

    So, why wouldn’t “younger” teams try to expedite the process by using relationship building tools such as the personal note that you received from your car salesman? Further, why wouldn’t the older teams do the same? I think of how much easier it is today than even 10 years ago, with today’s numerous opportunities to instantly connect (email, text, social media) and easily do research (Google, LinkedIn, Facebook) on people, it’s that much easier to learn about clients and establish, fortify and perpetuate relationships.

    Thanks for the reminder that sometimes it’s what seems to be the little things, that make a difference.

  • May 1, 2010 at 11:26 pm
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    If only certain people would truly develope those relationships. Those are only words written by a professional brownnoser. Actions speak volumes and words come easy to some people. Recognizing your responsibilities to your own family, clients and kids takes real action. It’s important to actually be that person that Mr. Wieme describes, not just to talk about it.

  • May 27, 2010 at 11:21 pm
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    Dave Wieme needs to stop spouting off. He’s the least genuine PR guy in the business. Do us all a favor. Shut up and get out of PR before you give us all a bad name.

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