The statistics are out there. We all know what is happening in the business world in terms of an economic slowdown, layoffs and businesses closing their doors forever. In fact, unless you have been living on Mars or under a rock it is hard not to know what is happening or have these challenging times affect your business or lifestyle in anyway possible.
One constant in the business world that this economy hasn’t changed is the importance of long-term business relationships. Like a good friend, they are there for you for support and growth. Sometimes this so-called “friendship” is put on hold due to budget cuts, but when the economy swings back up, they are there for you. The important fact to remember is that you must continue to maintain this relationship and not let it drop to the wayside. After all, you just don’t drop a friend if they get busy and can’t make plans with you for a while.
Like a friendship, a business relationship is the same and your goal is to make it long-term. Create loyalty by staying in touch with your client, send them notes about something you saw or experienced that reminded you of their business, invite your client to networking events that they would benefit from as well and keep them in the loop in terms of news that may affect their organization too. Even lunch or happy hour every now and then is good for both of you because you get to know each other better than previously, catch up on news and have a good time. After all, it is easier and more fun to do business with someone you know plus you are more aware of their likes and dislikes making it a bit easier to anticipate and fulfill their business requirements.
One of the long-term clients at A Wynning Event is the Century City law firm of Cox Castle & Nicholson, LLP. We have had the pleasure of working with this law firm for over ten years. In fact, that is a business relationship that has lasted longer than quite a few marriages! The key to this long-term business relationship is:
Customer Service – Immediate responses to questions and requests
Respect for Budgets – Knowing what the budget is and maintaining it throughout the event production process
Admiration for Client – Getting along and having fun with my client socially as well as professionally
There have been times that due to budget constraints Cox Castle & Nicholson, LLP had postponed or canceled an event, and thus my involvement was tied to this cancellation as well. But business is business, it was nothing personal. I just looked forward to the future and stayed on their radar knowing that they would request my services and expertise again when the time was appropriate. Remember, it is easier and more fun to keep a client then it is to find a new one, and the business relationships that you already have are the ones worth growing.