Give Your Business A Boost Through The Power of Suggestion

A few Decembers ago I was feeling the holiday spirit and decided to wish all my clients a happy holiday season. One day after Christmas and before New Year’s I sent each a short, personal email offering some season greetings. It was my first year in business so my client list wasn’t exactly huge and in less than an hour I had sent out some holiday cheer.

A funny thing happened.

The following January was my best month in terms of revenue to that point. Whether it was a matter of everyone feeling good after some time away from work or maybe a little too much spiked egg nog, my email reminded people I existed. Many clients who I hadn’t heard from in months suddenly had work for me.

It taught me to always keep the lines of effective communication open and if I haven’t heard from a client in awhile I’ll send them a simple email. Nothing business oriented, just a quick email to say hello and see how they’re doing. It’s often led to more work.

The Power Of Suggestion

suggestion box
photo credit: sethoscope

At times when I’m not actively working for a specific client I still like to check on their sites. Often these looks will lead to some ideas about how my clients can make improvements leading to more traffic and revenue.

It would be easy to think since the client isn’t paying me for the information there’s no reason to offer it. I do charge for consulting after all, but I’ll share my ideas anyway.

Yesterday was one such time. I finished some work for a client last week and while thanking me he mentioned a few things he was going to add to his site. I liked his ideas and let him know, but also offered a few suggestions improving on the ideas. Today he emailed to have me implement some of those suggestions.

A few important things to remember:

  • You’re not trying to solicit work
  • You’re sending a friendly hello
  • You’re offering real advice designed to help your clients
  • You’re writing a personal email
  • Again, you’re not trying to solicit work

Small Business Owner = Large To Do List

Small business owners wear many hats. We handle the day to day operations of our businesses and also handle the marketing, accounting, and general administration.

You probably have a To Do list that looks overwhelming. So do your clients. Think of all the things you know you should do that get pushed aside and forgotten every day because there’s no time to get to them.

If someone offered to take care of a few things on your list would let them? Would you be willing to pay that person to reduce the size of your list and free you up for more important things? You might and so might your clients.

Your clients likely have some work you can do for them, but they are busy with other things and forget or don’t have the time to let you know about it. Sometimes a simple reminder is all it takes to drum up a little business. And even if no business comes from it you still help strengthen a working relationship.

The next time you’re sitting around without a lot of work or even during times when you have a lot, send out a quick email to wish someone a happy holiday or a happy birthday. Ask some questions so you know better who your clients are as people.

Give away some free advice designed to help your clients that they’d most likely contact you to implement. You might just find it leads to some extra work.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

12 comments

  1. This is a great post. It goes right to the heart of customer service, keep in contact with your customers without soliciting work and let them know you see them as more than giant wallets. Also, always offer a little extra. I wish more people handled their businesses like you do.

    • Thanks Kristine. It’s such an easy thing to do and I wonder why more people don’t go that extra step sometimes.

      I won’t lie and tell you an email has let to me being a millionaire, but I have managed to improve cash flow at times when I needed a little more coming in.

  2. Hello Steven:

    That was a cute story. And Yes, You are right when you say, keeping in touch with clients other than business, paying them regards, or asking them to have a coffee, lunch or a dinner together, discuessing their both personal matters, and helping them in business returns more work, trust in your, etc, and When you are an SEO or running a SEO Company, You should focus more on clients than focusing on getting the quality works..:)

    Cheers – Tina

    • I’m glad you liked the story Tina. It’s true the more contact you have with your clients the more often it can lead to work.

      Most of my clients don’t live near me so coffee or lunch is out. Have you ever taken your clients out just for fun?

  3. I have a similar concern with one of my clients. She took some personal time and her clients still believe she is out. So, she has started several programs to gain back those customers.

    Now, that I think about it, I can offer her some other services for her customers. To allow specials and other information to be sent to them.

    Back to the topic- its all about keeping your clients engaged in your company since, many of us do not advertise.

    • its all about keeping your clients engaged in your company

      Good point. I think it’s also about keeping you engaged with your clients. Anything that keeps the lines of communication open and lets them know you’re still there can help generate business.

    • I couldn’t put a specific dollar amount on it. I’m just sharing my own experience. If you have clients or customers and haven’t heard from them in awhile, sometimes a little reminder that you exist is all it takes for them to make a purchase or contact you about a job.

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