Accountants who want to stand out as caring and being interested in their clients know that they should Keep In Touch (‘KIT’). You also need a KIT routine if you want to be able to rely on business contacts and influencers to introduce new clients to you.
If we don’t keep in touch we risk being forgotten. When I was younger I used to think that my sparkling personality, wit and conversation would be sufficient to ensure that I would be remembered. Even if I had been right, the fact is that anyone who had met me had probably also met dozens of other people. In time any positive memory of me would be replaced by more recent memories of newer acquaintances.
So what can we do to keep in touch with our clients, contacts and wider network? There are 7 basic options and each has its benefits and disadvantages:
1. Email. Easy. Reliant on sender’s name and subject line engaging the recipient. Personal?
2. Phone call. Easy if you overcome any fear you have of personal contact. Proves you are genuine and not simply sending out a mass email. Skype (or other VoiP) video calls are even better as you can see each other too.
3 . Via LinkedIn. Messages sent within the Linkedin site may standout more than those sent by email. Equally, they may be ignored if the recipient is unfamiliar with their Linkedin inbox. Status and activity updates may not be noticed and are not personal. Endorsements are simply a game and few people pay much attention to them.
4. Via social media. Easy if you are familiar with the platforms and if you know the people you want to reach are active there and likely to see your messages. Direct personal messages may get more attention than longer emails. They are also more likely to be seen than those sent as quick update emails that will be quickly superseded by more recent messages. But are your contacts and connections active here?
5. At networking events. Regular attendees can catch-up with a few fellow group members at each meeting. But follow-up 1-2-1 face to face meetings are normally necessary to build trust.
6. 1-2-1 face to face. Important for building relationships with influencers and business associates. Also invaluable for building your knowledge of a client’s issues and plans so that you can tailor your advice and services accordingly.
7. By post. Snail-mail still has it’s place as well crafted letters and cards can stand out from the mass of emails that everyone receives. Postal campaigns can be pricey though.
Which approach do you prefer – and why?