In any business, there are presumably relationships built and maintained with clients, customers & vendors. In many cases those relationships go through cycles of activity: a customer may buy something once and come back later for another, or send a friend; a client may use your service periodically; a vendor may be called upon on an ongoing basis.
Sometimes these relationships have an end of sorts, hopefully a positive one. These terminals present more opportunities to give another positive impression of your brand and business.
A few tips:
Express your gratitude for their business or help.
This is common sense and common courtesy, but saying thank you every time some kind of transaction is made, big or little, goes a long way, and could result in return business and referrals. Be genuine.
Ensure the details that set you apart are satisfactorily accomplished for you and them.
Making a check list of items or tasks common to the way you close a transaction can help. Keeping it simple will help you get it done; keeping it unique will help you get noticed.
Follow up with an email (or mail) whenever possible.
If appropriate, include coupons or special offers for add ons, return business or referrals. This is also a good way to solicit feedback, if applicable, as well as gathering opt-in contacts for newsletters or specials.
For vendors, tell them what you liked about the service.
This is like putting money in the bank towards of good will which, besides increasing the likelihood of referrals, will add the human touch that will make you feel good about doing business. Be genuine, specific and brief.
There are many ways to add a follow-through aspect to the way you close a business relationship, short or long term, and thinking about new and unique techniques can go a long way to set you apart.
More on this in future posts.