Marketing is all about relationships. What better time to focus on your marketing and business development than around the holidays, when people are focused on their closest personal and business relationships?
Below are some five tips on how you can be strategic and thoughtful with your clients during the holiday season.
1.) Know Your Contacts – If you have not taken the time throughout the year to organize your contact list, this a good time to tackle this important task. You should be aware of where your contacts fit on your list of priorities. For example, knowing if a contact is a prospect, current great client, a client with potential for growth (more work), or a client that is slipping away, or a referral, etc. Once you know where your contact stands on your list of priorities, you are better equipped with a plan to reach out to them during the holidays (and the new year). Some contacts may receive a card, other contacts may receive an invitation to dinner or a party, others may receive a company gift. Get organized and know your clients.
2.) Brief Client Interviews – Although the holiday season is not the time to do aggressive selling to your clients, it is the time to lay the ground work and gather important information for the new year. As you are visiting clients, don’t be afraid to conduct a quick assessment on how the year has gone for their business or your work for them this year. As you are gathering this information, you should also plan on how to address their issues in the new year.
3.) Plan Your Visits – This is a great time of the year to visit clients, referrals and prospects bearing goodies for the office or business. A box of donuts or cupcakes can go along way and also opens up an opportunity to find out what they are working on or may need assistance with for next year. On-site visits are an excellent way to glean more information and work from your clients.
4.) Create a Holiday Message: Consider tweaking a tagline or key brand message for your company. It is completely appropriate at this time of year as long as you maintain an authentic brand voice for your company.
5.) Don’t forget about the New Year: We often focus on Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, however, don’t forget to celebrate the New Year with your clients and prospects. Again, this is an excellent time to celebrate and quietly bring up their goals and plans of the New Year.
Don’t let the holiday season slip by you without doing something strategic and thoughtful for your key contacts. The most important point is to know who your key contacts are and where you want the relationship to go. This will help determine how to approach them for the holidays and as you go into the New Year.
Finally, remember…. it is all about building the relationship. You should never think its a waste of time toasting with your client or stopping by with cookies. Relationships are the key to great business development.