Create a Relationship Strategy Part 3 in this creating your own plan it does take time, however it is well worth it and you’ll benefit greatly from it
Step 3 – Focus on the Core
Once you create your list, the next step is to develop a plan to reach out to, and build your relationship with, the top 20% of the prospects/clients on your list. For each potential core client, answer the following questions:
- What do we need to know about the prospect’s or client’s core business, clients, and issues, and how can we get that information?
- Who do we need to know at the organization to build the relationship?
- How can we strengthen our relationship with these people?
- If we have done business with them before, what was the value to them? Do they know it?
- If we are doing business there now, what needs to improve so that we can strengthen their perception of our business? How will we make amends for any
- What do these people value, and how can we help them get it?
- How often should we contact them?
- What are the ways we can stay in touch that add value (e.g. sending articles, inviting to seminars, providing complimentary advice)?
- What are the business goals, problems, and top initiatives of the potential client organization, and of the key people there?
- How can we help them achieve those goals?
- What sorts of opportunities are likely to move forward, what are those worth, and what is the timing?
- How can we communicate our value in a way that will build the relationship? Ask them what is important to them?
- How can we communicate our value in a way that ties directly to THEIR goals and opportunities?
- What do we propose first, in order to strengthen our position there, or get an initial foothold?
- Who does what, by when?
- How often should we reassess and update this plan?
Andrew says, he’s facilitated retreats with executives at small and huge companies alike to answer the above questions and build a relationship plan. It always amazes me how little most professionals know about their client’s business, key people, and initiatives. You can get the basic information by visiting their Website and doing an Internet search, checking their social media profiles, especially LinkedIn
You should also get comfortable taking key people at the client out for lunch, (during COVID maybe a phone cat or Zoom meeting. ) and asking them questions about their business and where it’s going.
In fact, I’ve found that if I tell a prospect or client that I’m building a plan to better serve them and strengthen the relationship, they are often flattered, pleasantly surprised (not many people have the discipline to do this), and willing to give you more information. Remember that if you Create a Relationship Strategy by using Part 3, you will overall be better for it.
Review the previous step to help you navigate this step 1