This week, I’m heading to Cincinnati to work with a new client for a couple of days. It’s a really nice shop and I’m excited by the opportunity. But they are not the only firm I’m visiting there. I’m making a sales call on a new prospect and reconnecting with an ex-client.
The good news about ex-clients is that they know you (and you know them) and there is an existing level of trust and credibility… something you don’t have with new sales prospects and an awfully good starting point for re-connecting (assuming the relationship didn’t end badly).
So, over the past couple of years, I have maintained a professional relationship in the way we all should:
- My contacts there receive our monthly e-newsletter. Not only do these emails keep Harpeth Marketing top-of-mind with them, but they always connect to our newest content… content that reinforces our expertise and thought leadership.
- I’ve stayed active on social media… tweeting/posting daily and engaging in online conversations – in places I know they also go to (e.g. specific LinkedIn groups) – so they see me pop up from time to time.
- Every once in a while, I shared articles or ‘press clippings’ when they made the news.
- I’ve stayed active in the industry, writing for industry publications and speaking or exhibiting at industry events. And even if my contacts don’t go to these events, they still see my name in the promotional materials.
All of that leads to this… when I reached out to my top contact at this ex-client about my trip to Cincinnati, he immediately accepted the invitation to meet (and even grab a cold beer after work).
Will this visit [eventually] lead to new business from them? Who knows? But I promise you this… had I not nurtured the relationship with this ex-client, I would not be getting this second chance to earn back their business… and that’s all I can ask for.
It happens to every single business… clients eventually move on. The question is… how bad do you want them back?
Wish me luck!