Turn Your Clients Into Partners
Ideally, a business partner promotes your business;
they're always on the lookout for new markets, and they work
to find ways to improve your product or service.
Wouldn't it be amazing if you could get your clients to do
the same thing? Well, you can, of course, if you simply do
1. Find and broadcast your target.
Who's your ideal client? Can you describe him/her in such a
way that anyone can identify this person? This ideal client
shouldn't just be "people between the ages of 25 and
32." Rather, narrow your focus-perhaps your ideal
market is "single women buying their first home."
You want to make sure your clients can repeat your target
market and really understand it.
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2. Start a newsletter.
But this shouldn't be just any newsletter.
Instead this newsletter must be: interactive (run
promotions, ask provocative questions, give great advice),
valuable (with real information, not just hype), and
memorable (brand it, send it regularly, and hire only the
When you're turning clients into partners, it's crucial that
your newsletter be a consistent reflection of your brand
(you want your clients to have as clear an image of you as
possible). You might do this with your tone-is your website
all about parties?
Then your tone should be light and friendly. You might do
this with your columns. And you should definitely brand your
newsletter with its design. You want your readers to have no
doubt that the newsletter is from you.
3. Make personal contact with each client.
This contact can be in the form of a phone call, letter or
in-person visit (email is not recommended unless it's
necessary). Let each client know that you've decided to
dedicate yourself to serving your target group and solicit
their feedback. Do they know anyone who fits the bill? Do
they have any suggestions on how you can narrow your focus
or widen your appeal? Approach each client with sincerity,
and you'll not only learn a lot; you'll be halfway to your
Also, while you're contacting all your clients, make sure to
ask if they're interested in receiving your newsletter.
4. Throw a party. Host an event.
Invite all your clients and ask that each bring along an
ideal prospect. At the party, offer samples of your product
or demos of your service, but don't make it a hard sell.
Instead, focus on getting to know each guest.
Also, keep in mind as you're meeting people that each of the
people at your party likely knows at least one person who
needs your service. Now make the kind of impression that
encourages people to say, "I met the nicest person this
weekend who does exactly what you need!"
5. Follow-up on every referral in two ways.
First, make sure you follow-up immediately with
the prospect. This will show both the prospect and the
referrer that you're trustworthy and that business is as
important to you as you say it is. Second, make sure you
send a hand-written thank you note to the person who sent a
referral your way (even if the prospect doesn't become a
client). Always let your clients know how grateful you are
for their referrals. And one more thing, when you write that
note, focus on the generosity of your client, not how happy
you are or how referrals are the lifeblood of your business.
When you finish the cycle, you'll need to keep sending your
newsletter, soliciting feedback and following up on
Pretty soon, you'll find your clients are not just your best
source of new business, but also your best source for new
business ideas. In short, your clients will be magically
transformed into partners.
Jessica Albon is the owner of The Write Exposure where she
assists companies just like yours as they transform clients
into partners with branded newsletters. For more information
on The Write Exposure's services visit http://www.designdoodles.com
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