At a recent networking event, I was having a lively conversation with a woman who enlightened me in her efforts to engage her clientele. Her secret? She makes it her mission to send a thank you note every day. The results were staggering. Clients were surprised and gracious, prospects became more receptive, even colleagues shifted their attitudes after receiving a card to show that their work was noticed and appreciated.

A thank you card embodies what building great relationships is all about. It’s sincere, personal, and shows appreciation. We are all in our heart of hearts wanting to be appreciated and heard, and that applies to our clients as well. When we put these principles at the top of our list when handling clients, the results can be very rewarding in addition to profitable. How can you tell if it’s profitable? By measuring the success of that client relationship through retention, referrals & return clients.

For your clients to be heard, one needs to be actively listening with intent. In addition, a good practice is to always over communicate, and treat each client as if they are your only client. Recap what you heard, ask questions, learn your client. Not only should you know their challenges and needs inside and out, but you should also strive to know the people behind the brand. Do they have kids? Are they a dog lover? Do they have any special hobbies? Know the person and take interest!

There is a psychology behind it all. People do business with who they like, who they trust. If you’re consistently exceeding your client’s expectations, raising the bar, delivering a great product, you are already half way there. The secret is, even if you don’t have the best product or service, you can still have a loyal and growing client base by applying these basic principles of relationship building.

So, deliver your best work, listen, communicate, appreciate and engage!  Never leave out the human element that all great relationships are based on.