A former client of mine recently called to invite me out for lunch. I had previously been his account manager for just over 10 years, but when I changed jobs he began working with another account manager. During our time working together, we went through some growing pains, as the client’s business was growing very rapidly, which required quite a bit of time to review his financial situation.
More recently, this client was going through his contact lists and came across my name. We had not talked for a while, and thought lunch would be a great time to get together.
At lunch, the client revealed that he wanted to get together to thank me for the time I was his account manager. While this was not necessary, it was greatly appreciated, as we talked about his business, how well it was doing, and his future plans. Overall it was a great experience for me.
This experience reminded me that many of us have a vast list of clients and contacts, who we may be conducting day-to-day business with, or who we may have made contact with in the past, but have not had the time to touch base with recently.
It’s not a bad idea to go though your client or contact list, update it, and touch base with those you haven’t heard from in a while. The purpose of the call is simple: We haven’t talked for a while, and I thought we could do a little catching up.
There are many opportunities that can be derived from this simple act, as you can gain quite a bit of information from the specific contact on how they are doing, where they are going and what are they thinking. Perhaps you can be of assistance to their endeavours by providing your products or services to them. If they cannot use you now, they will at least be more likely to remember you when something does come up.
The reverse is also true for you, as there is a strong likelihood you may be able to use their products or services now or in the future, and you will again be refreshed on what they can provide to assist you and your business.
It is quite amazing how a simple three to five minute phone call could lead to some great opportunities. Get back in touch with those you haven’t heard from in a while, and new partnerships could result.
Rob Chernoff has worked with BMO for more than 21 years, and currently serves as a Commercial Account Manager based in Red Deer, Alta.