Do you actually remember what clients and prospects tell you by the end of your meetings? Do you really listen?
Whenever we encounter someone who truly listens to us, we’re impressed. For instance, when you casually tell someone you’re going on an Easter trip to see family on the East Coast, and several weeks later – the next time you see this person – they ask you about the trip – it means they remembered something important about you. And it makes us feel someone truly cares – that they actually listened.
Listening for details also gives you opportunities to provide better service – and, to win new business. For instance, if you hear a client talking about a relative who is going through a divorce, you can offer a complimentary “second opinion” as they plan what to do with their settlement.
Here are six key “memory boosting” categories to focus on during your next client or prospect meeting. Use them to jog your memory as you’re walking people to the door after your meeting – or in future meetings. It’s a good idea to keep these notes in your CRM system.
- Health. People frequently relay important details about their health such as doctor visits, illnesses, or surgeries. If someone mentions a health problem, at the very least, wish them well at the end of your meeting: “I hope your shoulder gets feeling better.” Make a note to follow-up on anything major or reach out when it seems appropriate. A handwritten “get well soon” note can show you care. Flowers also make a good impression if a client or prospect is having surgery. You could even refer clients or prospects to your favorite healthcare professionals, if they are in need of a healthcare provider.
- Relationships. Your clients and prospects probably tell you a lot about their family relationships. After your meeting, make notes about their children, parents, siblings. Keep a file on whom they talk about most, and then ask them about those relationships at the next meeting. For instance, “How’s Susie doing at USC?” They will be impressed that you remember the important people in their lives. It will show that you’re listening, and help them open up.
- Vacations. As mentioned above, people love it when you remember their vacations. If you hear that they are planning a vacation, you could even send them a Frommer’s Travel Guide, which provides tips on how to experience the local culture, as well as detailed maps, language guidance, and hotel ratings. Be sure to wish them safe travels as they’re heading to the door after your appointment, and make a note to ask clients how their trip turned out at the next meeting.
- Hobbies. Hobbies provide many insights not only into your clients’ and prospects’ lives, but into the people they might know. Ideally, you and your clients would share hobbies as hobby-related client events are so powerful. When you share a hobby or passion, it’s easy to remember to ask your client about that aspect of their life. But if a client or prospect has a unique hobby, you should still ask them about it at your meetings. It’s a great way to get people to open up and feel comfortable – especially as you delve into their financial affairs. Example: “How’s the model airplane hobby these days?”
- Affiliations. Just like hobbies, affiliations are relationship gold. By getting to know where your clients hang out, you can maximize your opportunities for introductions – and provide better client service. It’s always fun when someone asks us about our activities. For instance, if you know a client has a passion for The Rotary Club, you can ask them what’s new with that organization, or what projects they’re championing.
- Work. People spend most of their waking hours at work. Naturally, you will want to remember what people do at their jobs, and ask them the occasional probing question: “What’s challenging you the most right now in your job?” or “What’s got you the most excited about work these days?” These insights into their work life can provide client service cues, as well as opportunities to meet their co-workers.
Bottom line: Remembering details from these six categories gives you a leg up on the competition, and shows your clients and prospects you’re dedicated to their success and well-being. Use the comment box to share your own memory categories and tips.