Friday, April 19, 2013

How to Add Value to Your Professional Relationships

I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California. Approximately 70% of this advice is to occupants and the balance is to owners. The challenge with occupant advice is that moment when the transaction is have effectively taken the occupant out of the market. Potentially forever if the occupant purchases a location and for three to five years if the occupant leases the location. Unless that occupant has multiple locations (constant need of advice) or is rapidly growing (constant need of additional space)...your work there is done. So the question becomes: how do I maintain my relationship with an occupant and stay top of mind with them for referrals, changes in their situation, the next requirement?
This post will outline ways to add value to your professional relationships and keep you top of mind.
Remember personal events: Birthdays, anniversaries, move-in dates, kid's birthdays, kid's weddings, family members or company in the news. Be aware and acknowledge!
Send industry information: Comps, buildings available close by, significant developments, competitors of theirs who are growing, shrinking, leaving, etc.
Refer business to them: Are you aware of your client's "ideal customer". If you are aware, there is a great chance that you know someone that could become a customer of your client. If you don't know who your client's customers are, you are voiding a huge opportunity for adding value.
Refer a potential employee to them: If you are in tune with your client's business and employee needs, you can "look out" for good folks for them to hire.
Make a strategic introduction: An architect to a general contractor, a moving and storage company to a material handling company, a fellow CRE broker to a sign company. A strategic intro creates a referral relationship between your clients and contacts. Both will appreciate the introduction!
Refer a professional: A CPA, a business attorney, a commercial insurance broker, a business banker, a wealth advisor. If you refer one of these professionals to your clients and a connection is made, you multiply your "touch points" with your clients.
Drop in to see them: Hey, was in the neighborhood and wanted to say hello!
Call them periodically to say hello: We haven't spoken in a while and I wanted to see what is new in your life.
Send them a small gift: If the item has your name, logo, and phone number...AND is might end up in their car, on their desk, in their golf bag, etc. What a great constant reminder of their service provider!
Invite them to a networking event: Many times your clients are ideal clients of another profession that you see at networking events. Occasionally, interesting content is presented that would interest your client.
Become a resource for referrals: In addition to the strategic introductions, business referrals, professional referrals that you make, become the "go to" for your client's needs.
Invite them to partner with you in a presentation: If your clients are in compatible industries (in my case moving and storage, contractors, material handling, etc.), ask them to join you in presenting your services to a new client...the benefits are immeasurable!
Give them some run via social media. Blog about them, tweet about them, Facebook post about them (one of my clients got a job from one of my Facebook posts), provide a Yelp review, post their logos on Pinterest, conduct You Tube interviews and post them, etc.