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The honeymoon phase

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Your brand new client may perceive your firm as a very responsive and in touch due to your frequent communications. But when that communication falls off, he may suspect you only wanted to land him as a client and are not interested in working with him over the long term.

What you need is a system of regular, new-client communication. Use it not only to stay in touch during the occasional quiet period but also to strengthen the relationship. This will result in a higher percentage of referrals from new clients.

This series of communications should begin right after your prospect becomes a client (the “honeymoon” phase) and consist of a series of letters (or emails) sent 7 to 10 days apart. What should those communications consist of? Read on to find out.

1.  Team introduction. Send a letter to introduce (and in some cases reintroduce) each member of your team. Include their photographs. Clients often save this letter to refresh their memories later on.

2.  Individual client orientation. Send a letter inviting clients to take part in a one-on-one orientation call or meeting with a staff member to go over online access, financial statements and expectations and to schedule any future meetings.

3.  Gift. Send a letter along with a small gift (perhaps a book) thanking them for becoming clients. Provide them with a brief summary of the book. (If sent via email, include an Amazon gift card along with a book recommendation.)

4.  Client survey. Send a letter and survey asking them for feedback on how you’re doing so far. It can resemble a report card, including 10 questions asking your new client for a letter grade of A to F. (Make sure the final question is “Would you be willing to refer us to others?”)

5.  Soft referral request. Send out a letter with a soft request for referrals. The key is to let your clients know you are interested in referrals and to explain what it means to you.

You will likely receive the most referrals during the first six months of your new client relationship. This is when there’s something new to talk about—something exciting—and you’re top of mind. A little more attention during this period can lead to a lot more referrals.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to