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.


  1. Good post Allen. I like the simplified approach in terms of your focus RE: 1 main topic and 3 core questions.

    In skimming through your blog, the article that jumped out to me (as someone not in your industry) was this one. The content here is authentic and provides useful answers for occupants based on experience + hard-nose answers. Too often companies, brands, and service people try and be all things to all people and don't speak enough to their audience. I think you do a good job of that, and would continue to speak from personal experience while engaging others to share theirs.

    Since I know you're likely also looking for constructive criticism, I'd suggest adding your branding in some form to your newsletter and make the Lee & Associates branding a little more prominent on your blog. When we build custom e-newsletter templates for clients, we typically try and include a header that utilizes active links to larger traffic areas on their website(s) or blog, or social media since click-backs / enticing further interest is the name of the game here. I see that you have a linked article at the top of your newsletter and your social icons at the page bottom)

    I've attached a couple of screenshots of what I mean. You'd be amazed how many 'extra' clicks we get simply by providing a "mini" navigation area.

    Your stuff looks + sounds great, and I'm looking forward to our meeting next week -



  2. Thanks, Alex! I look forward to our meeting next week as well.

  3. Wow what a great Pic there Mr Buchanan!
    Please give me a chat at your convenience to discuss our Montebello warehouse

  4. My clients never forget me…lol

    Janet Tilbury
    Branch Manager/Commercial Escrow Officer
    The Heritage Escrow Company
    3200 El Camino Real, Suite 105
    Irvine, CA 92602
    (949) 930-8500
    (949) 930-8600 Fax

  5. Allen:
    Great pts. in both good and bad times.

    I am doing my 4th lease with Prog. Ins.
    I take the Prog. Ins. RE employee and his wife out to a nice dinner every time they visit Las Vegas.
    We have dev. a friendship and I get all of their bus. in the Las Vegas Valley.


    Charles W. Witters, SIOR | Senior Vice President
    Lee & Associates | Las Vegas

    1. Socializing and celebrating...another great suggestion!

  6. one of my favorites
    Best Regards,

    Carla Buchanan - Owner
    Business Brandings
    Imprinted Apparel and Promotional Products

  7. AB, great post! Simpe, effective, generating results how to! Maybe you should think about penning a cre biz book "I swam w/ the sharks, kicked their azzes, and here is how I did it". Thanks for sharing. R2

  8. Thanks for reading R2. Maybe I will:)