“There are several elements that must be fully utilized in order to maintain meaningful long-term connections.”
The Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer, page 186
One of my many “Ah-Ha Moments” in life came when I first heard that everybody who enters your life is not destined to remain in your life forever. What does this mean? It means that people come and go. And this is as it should be.
Some people you meet enter your world for an hour and leave an impression. Some stay for a week, or a month, or a year and contribute to your growth accordingly before doing the Irish Fade. (Slowly and quietly slipping out of your life without fanfare, indignation, or applause.) Others may hang around for years, and a very few for a lifetime.
As some people go, others enter the picture. This is as it should be. This is how it works.
That being said, there are a few things you can do to maximize your relationships with people as long as they are remaining in the game. No, you are not going to force, bribe, or coerce them to stay. You are simply going to remain visible over time.
There is a good chance that your “former” clients slid off of your radar not because of some error, but because they began to get the feeling that you no longer valued their business. They drifted toward the people who were showing a genuine interest in them… and rightfully so.
The way for you to maintain your relationships is to make it your business to keep your interest alive. Stay within shouting distance of your good clients and faithful friends. You may even want to revisit the Rule of 7. (A designated number of touch points over time.) Taken literally, it calls for seven contacts in each 18-month period. There is nothing magical about these numbers. Seven may be 12. 18-months may be 15-months. The key is to space your touch points so as not to appear pushy while avoiding appearing ambivalent.
There is not a person alive who does not enjoy being recognized and appreciated. So there is the combination to your lock. Show appreciation and remind your clients how special they are.
It amazes me how many people acknowledge that sending handwritten thank-you cards makes so much sense and is simple to do. What amazes me is how few people actually write, address, stamp, and send these magical marketing documents.
If you are interested in maintaining more long-term relationships, the ball is in your court. You can’t leave it to chance. You must be the initiator. Let people know you care.
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